Unit 1.1

Article omission

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Introduction

Articles [artículos] are words that accompany a noun. They can be indefinite or definite.

In some cases the article can be omitted [omisión del artículo].

Form

The article is usually omitted before:

  • proper names (anthroponyms and toponyms):
    • given names;
    • surnames;
    • countries (exceptions: El Salvador…);
    • cities (exceptions: El Cairo…);
    • Localities.
  • A direct object, when it is the object type, not a concrete object. If this occurs in a question, no reference to the object type is made in the answer: ¿Tienes bici? → No, no tengo. (No, no la tengo.).

The article is omitted with some word classes depending on whether it is indefinite or definite.

  • the indefinite article is omitted:
    • with demonstratives;
    • with indefinite;
    • With numerals.
  • the definite article is omitted:
    • before atonic possessives (mitusunuestro/avuestro/asu);
    • before prenominal demonstratives (esteeseaquel…);
    • After verbs such as haber or saber.

Example

Proper nouns:

  • Ayer saludé a María;
  • Tu apellido es Gutiérrez;
  • Va a ir a Francia;
  • Nos encanta París;
  • Veréis dinosaurios en Enciso.

Direct object:

  • ¿Sabes alemán? → No, no sé. (No, no lo sé.).

Indefinite article:

  • Este gato es blanco. (Este un gato es blanco);
  • Hay muchos alemanes. (Hay unos muchos alemanes);
  • Vimos a dos noruegas. (Vimos a dos unas noruegas).

Definite article:

  • Aquí está mi tractor amarillo. (Aquí está el mi tractor amarillo);
  • Compró esa rosa roja que vimos. (Compró la esa rosa roja que vimos);
  • Hay gatos negros en el parque. (Hay los gatos negros en el parque).

Use

The article may be omitted in specific cases.

Summary

In Spanish, the article can sometimes be omitted and sometimes it is not possible to use it. It can be omitted when the construction is with the verb gustar, with hay + noun and when you do not want to specify the number of the noun.

For example:
— «Has viajado a Asia alguna vez?» = The article is omitted before proper names of continents;
— «Este piso es enorme.» = The indefinite article is omitted with demonstratives such as este, so we do not say: este un piso es enorme;
— «Mi piso es enorme.» =The indefinite article is omitted before mi, so we do not say: el mi piso es enorme.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Exercises


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