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Week 2 Day 1: Definite and Indefinite Articles

What’s in store for you today: Articles

Today’s goals are:

●     To learn how to use definite and indefinite articles

●     To learn food vocabulary

Listen to Track 2.1.1


María: Necesito ir de compras. Necesito comprar unas cosas. (I need to go shopping. I need to buy some things.)

Juan: ¿Por qué? (Why?)

María: Voy a hacer una cena para mi amiga. (I am going to make dinner for my friend.)

Juan: ¿Qué vas a hacer? (What are you going to make?)

María: Voy a hacer pollo con verduras. Tengo una receta nueva. (I am going to make chicken with vegetables. I have a new recipe.)

Juan: ¿Qué necesitas en la tienda? (What do you need at the store?)

María: Necesito las zanahorias, la cebolla y ajo. Tengo unas patatas en casa. Y para el postre necesito unas manzanas. ¡Voy a hacer un pastel de manzana! (I need the carrots and the onion and garlic. I have some potatoes at home. And for the dessert, I need some apples. I’m going to make an apple pie!)

Definite and Indefinite Articles

Last week, we talked about how nouns can be masculine or feminine. Sometimes, this can be a little confusing (especially at the beginning). So, one way to help yourself remember if a noun is masculine or feminine is to immediately learn an article with it!

Today, we’re going to look at what the articles are in Spanish. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s discuss what an article actually is.

In English…

  • We have one definite article: the.
  • We have two indefinite articles which are: a/an and

Definite Articles

Let’s start with the Spanish equivalent of “the.” Just like with nouns (which can be singular or plural, masculine or feminine), our articles can take on different forms. The form they take on will depend on which noun they are defining.

Listen to Track 2.1.2: Definite Articles


El libro – The book

La mesa – The table

Los libros – The books

Las mesas – The tables

Rules to Remember

The definite articles in Spanish are:

  • El (The) – is used with singular, masculine nouns.
  • La (The) – is used with singular, feminine nouns.
  • Los (The) – is used with plural, masculine nouns.
  • Las (The) – is used with plural, feminine nouns.

Indefinite Articles

Just like definite articles, our indefinite articles have a few different forms they can take on. Again, what form they use will depend on the noun they are describing.

Listen to Track 2.1.3: Indefinite Articles


Un libro – A book

Una mesa – A table

Unos libros – Some books

Unas mesas – Some tables

The indefinite articles in Spanish are:

  • Un (A) – is used with singular, masculine nouns.
  • Una (A) – is used with singular, feminine nouns.
  • Unos (Some) – is used with plural, masculine nouns.
  • Unas (Some) – is used with plural, feminine nouns.

Some of these may look familiar from when we were talking about how to say “one…” In Spanish, instead of saying “one pen” you will be saying “a pen” (un bolígrafo).

An extra note to remember

Listen to Track 2.1.4


Resist the urge to use indefinite articles with uncountable nouns! In Spanish, indefinite articles are not used with uncountable nouns. In English, we can say things like, “I need some milk.” BUT, “milk” is uncountable (i.e. we can’t say, “I need two milks” unless we are ordering “two glasses of milk” – in which case, “glasses” is countable).

Here is how you can say “I need milk” without using an indefinite article with the uncountable noun:

  • Necesito la leche. (I need the milk.)
  • Necesito leche. (I need [some] milk.)
  • Necesito dos vasos de leche. (I need two glasses of milk.)

¡Comida! (Food!)

Now that we know our definite and indefinite articles, whenever we learn new vocabulary, we’ll introduce it using the definite article that would be associated with it. This way, you’ll instantly know if it’s masculine or feminine!

Listen to Track 2.1.5


¡Necesito comer! (I need to eat!)

  • La manzana – The apple
  • La naranja – The orange
  • Las uvas – The grapes
  • El plátano – The banana
  • El aguacate – The avocado
  • El brócoli – The broccoli
  • La zanahoria – The carrot
  • La cebolla – The onion
  • El ajo* – The garlic
  • La lechuga* – The lettuce
  • La patata – The potato
  • El huevo – The egg
  • El pollo* – The chicken
  • La carne de vaca* – The beef
  • La carne de cerdo* – The pork
  • El pavo* – The turkey
  • El jamón* – The ham
  • El queso* – The cheese
  • La leche* – The milk
  • El pan* – The bread
  • La mostaza* – The mustard
  • El ketchup* – The ketchup
  • La mayonesa* – The mayonnaise

* These nouns are uncountable: We wouldn’t say, “I need two turkeys” (unless, of course, we’re talking about the animal, which you can count. But for the meat itself, you cannot). This means if we want to say, “I need some turkey” in Spanish, we would simply say necesito pavo (i.e. “I need turkey.”)


Additional Vocabulary

Listen to Track 2.1.8


Here are a few more words you might want to look at:

Más comida (More food)

  • La fruta – The fruit
  • Las fresas – The strawberries
  • La pera – The pear
  • Las verduras – The vegetables
  • El tomate – The tomato
  • El espárrago – The asparagus
  • El apio – The celery
  • Un vaso – A glass
    • De agua – Of water
    • De leche – Of milk
    • De limonada – Of lemonade
  • Refresco – Soda pop
  • – Tea
  • Café – Coffee
  • Vino – Wine
    • Una copa de vino – A glass of wine
  • Cerveza – Beer


Otras palabras útiles (Other useful words)

  • Y – And
  • Pero – But
  • Cosa – Thing
  • Por favor – Please

También – Also


Today, we talked about indefinite and definite articles:

     The definite articles in Spanish are:

  • El (The) – is used with singular, masculine nouns.
  • La (The) – is used with singular, feminine nouns.
  • Los (The) – is used with plural, masculine nouns.
  • Las (The) – is used with plural, feminine nouns.

     The indefinite articles in Spanish are:

  • Un (A) – is used with singular, masculine nouns.
  • Una (A) – is used with singular, feminine nouns.
  • Unos (Some) – is used with plural, masculine nouns.
  • Unas (Some) – is used with plural, feminine nouns.

We also learned vocabulary for talking about food.