LECCIÓN XLVII. Uso del artículo.


227. Use of the Article. — All or any of the parts of speech, and sometimes even whole sentences, may be used as nouns, and as such admit the article, as has just been observed in the Redacción of the present lesson, in which we see examples of verbs, adverbs and interjections preceded by the article, and treated in every respect as nouns substantive.

228. The definite article is to be used before all common nouns, taken in a general sense and in the full extent of their signification; as,

La constancia y el trabajo son necesarios al hombre en todas sus empresas. | Constancy and labor are necessary to mankind in all undertakings.

229. The article is expressed before the names of  the four seasons of the year; as,

El inviemo en el Sur es mas agradable que el verano. | The winter in the South is more agreeable than the summer.

230. Nouns of measure, weight, &c., when preceded by the indefinite article in English, as an equivalent to each, require the article; as,

Dos veces al día. | Twice a day.

If the preposition por be used, we omit the article.

231. The article is generally repeated before every noun enumerated, especially if they difier in gender; as,

La fe, la esperanza y la caridad. | Faith, hope and charity.
Los días y las noches. | The days and nights.

232. The definite article is used before nouns indicating rank, office, profession or titles of persons, when these are spoken of, but not when spoken to; as,

El General Sheridan es valiente. | General Sheridan is brave.
El Señor De Vargas tiene tres niños. | Mr. De Vargas has three children.
La Señora Martínez es muy prudente. | Mrs. Martínez is very prudent.

233. The definite article is used instead of the possessive adjective when the possessives refer to parts of our own body; as,

Me he cortado la mano. | I have cut my hand.
Me duele la cabeza. | My head aches.

This applies even to parts of the body of other persons; as,

Ella me dio la mano. | She gave me her hand (or shook hands with me).

Puso la mano en el bolsillo. | He put his hand in his pocket.

But the pronoun must be used when the personal article would occasion ambiguity; as,

Muchos caballeros solicitaron mi mano. | Many gentlemen solicited my hand.

234. The definite article is also employed, as in English, before nouns taken in a particular or definite sense; as,

El hombre al que viste ayer en mi casa. | The gentleman whom you saw yesterday in my house.

We forbear from adding many more rules which we might give, if they were not subject to numerous exceptions, and, especially, if we were not of opinion that practice and reading will teach better than any rules when to employ and when to omit the article.


Acompañar. | To accompany.
Cargar. | To load, to charge.
Curar. | To cure, to attend (as a physician).
Dañar. | To injure, to damage.
Deleitar. | To delight.
Incomodar. | To incommode.
Incomodarse. | To get out of temper.
Equivocar. | To mistake.
Evitar. | To avoid, to shun.
Instruir. | To instruct.
Ocupar. | To occupy.
Padecer. | To suffer.
Solicitar. | To solicit, to apply for, to urge.

Dimes y diretes. | Ifs and ands.
El no se qué. | An inexplicable something.
Dolor de cabeza. | Headache.
Masculino. | Masculine.
Amable. | Amiable.
Agradable. | Agreeable.
Extranjero. | Foreign, foreigner.
Interesante. | Interesting.
Moribundo. | Dying.
Valiente. | Valiant, arrant.
Femenino. | Feminine.
Acento. | Accent.
Alma. | Soul.
Bolsillo. | Purse.
Comedia. | Comedy.
Autor. | Author.
Vara. | Rod, yard (measure).
Esfuerzo. | Effort, bravery.
Efecto. | Effect.
Libra. | Pound.
Fastidio. | Unease, uneasiness.
Manteca, or mantequilla. | Butter.
Ciudadano. | Citizen.
Hospital. | Hospital.
Calidad. | Quality.
Método. | Method.
Cantidad. | Quantity.
Trabajo. | Labor, work.
Nápoles. | Naples.
Real. | Real.
Sonido. | Sound.


– El porqué de todas las cosas.
– The why and the wherefore of all things.

– El cuándo.
– The time.

– El no se qué.
– I know not what.

– El tener amigos no daña.
– It is hurtful to no one to have friends.

– Hay hombres de un saber extraordinario.
– There are men of extraordinary knowledge.

– Un nada le incomoda.
– A mere nothing incommodes him.

– Ella cerró la mano.
– She closed her hand.

– Puso la mano en la mesa.
– He put his hand in the table.

En las lecciones de este blog se ha seguido la obra de

Alberto de Tornos “The Combined Spanish Method”. D. APPLETON ~ COMPANY (New York) 1869

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