Tag Archives: articles in spanis

Articles in Spanish, el, la, los, las Vs un, una, unos, unas

When writing in Spanish one of the hardest things for foreign speakers is when to use definitie articles like el, la, los, las and when to use indefinite articles such as uno, una, unos, unas.

There are a lot theory about this, but today I will explain the most basic rule, which is the most generic and the one that you will need to use more likely.

You have to use indefinite articles: uno, una, unos, unas…

…when is the first time that you are talking about your subject.

For example: Este verano fui a una boda.

This is the first time that you are talking about the wedding, so you need to use indefinite article UNA.

You have to use definite articles: el, la, los las…

…when the people that you are talking to have heard about the subject before.

For example: La boda fue muy divertida.

Now you are talking about the wedding that you have mentioned before and your listener knows it.

So if you say: Este verano fui a la boda

If you have never mentioned the wedding before your listener will ask you about what wedding. Because using definite article la you are saying that the listener already knows what wedding, so if your listener doesn’t know, he will feel uncomfortable, as your message is saying he should know.

In the other hand if you say: Este verano fui a una boda

Your listener is aware that is the first time that you are speaking about the wedding, so he won’t feel bad about not knowing anything about it. If he is curious he could ask: whose wedding? (¿la boda de quién?) but he knows that it is the first time you are talking about the wedding so it is ok that he doesn’t know anything about it. In this case it would be normal that your listener don’t ask anything about the wedding since he is comfortable knowing nothing about it.

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