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Grammar - Playing with the Definite and Indefinite Articles

This Spanish Easy Review grammar quiz has been set up to give you extra practice with using the Spanish definite and indefinite articles. To learn more about the definite and indefinite articles check out the Spanish Easy Review quizzes titled Using the Spanish Definite Article - 'The' and Using the Spanish Indefinite Articles - 'A', 'An' and 'Some'. The only differences there are between English and Spanish is that the definite and indefinite articles in Spanish will take on the gender of the noun that they are attached to, as well as their plurality. For example, 'the boy' in Spanish would be 'el chico' and 'the girl' would be 'la chica'.

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If you have 'the boys' then in Spanish it would become 'los chicos' and 'the girls' would become 'las chicas'. To speak and write in Spanish, you need to always be aware of a noun’s gender and, if it is plural, then the definite and indefinite articles must also be plural.

For the ten sentences in the quiz section below there is either a definite article or an indefinite article that is capitalized. From the answers given below the sentence, see if you can locate the correct Spanish definite/indefinite article that would replace the capitalized article.

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  1. Natalie put THE coat in the closet.
    The word 'the' is a definite article. This then tells you that the first and last answers can be eliminated because they are showing indefinite articles. The next thing you need to remember is the Spanish word for coat. That Spanish word is abrigo and abrigo is a masculine word. The masculine definite article for 'the' is el. This then tells you that the third answer is the correct definite article.
  2. He has SOME candy in his pocket.
    The word 'some' is an indefinite article so you know that you will not be using the definite article 'the'. Now you need to know the Spanish word for candy and that is dulce which is a masculine word. Notice that 'some' means more than one so you now know that the indefinite article must be plural which means you can now eliminate the third and last answers as they are the singular indefinite article. As dulce is masculine, you can also eliminate the first answer as it is feminine. Therefore, the second answer shows the correct indefinite Spanish article for the word 'some'.
  3. Justin was given A gold star on his history report.
    The capitalized word 'a' is an indefinite article which means you can now eliminate the first and third answers as they show the definite article. The indefinite article 'a' also refers to a 'singular' thing which means that the second answer can be eliminated as it is a plural indefinite article. That leaves the last answer which does show the correct Spanish indefinite (feminine) article needed here as the Spanish word for star is estrella.
  4. Mother bought THE lamps that matched the end tables.
    The word 'the' is a definite article. This means you can eliminate the second and last answers as they show indefinite articles. Next you see that 'lamps' is plural. Both the first and third answers show a plural definite article so now you need to know the Spanish word for lamp and its gender. The Spanish word for lamp is lámpara and it is a feminine word. This means that the third answer can now be eliminated and the first answer shows the correct feminine, plural definite Spanish article.
  5. Cynthia has SOME dresses.
    The word 'some' is an indefinite article which means that the second and third answers can be eliminated as they show the definite article for 'the'. The noun here is dresses and the Spanish word for dresses is vestidos which is a masculine word. Now you know that the indefinite article must also be masculine and since it is dresses which is plural, the indefinite article must also be plural. The first answer shows a plural, feminine, indefinite article so it is not correct. The last answer, however, does show a masculine, plural indefinite Spanish article for 'some'.
  6. Patricia saw THE cow in the neighbor’s yard.
    The capitalized word here is 'the' and it is a definite article. This means that the second answer can be eliminated because it is an indefinite article. The noun that the definite article is attached to is cow and there is only one cow so you can now eliminate the first answer as it shows the article for a plural noun. Next you need to remember the Spanish word for cow which is vaca and it is a feminine word. Now you can eliminate the last answer as it shows the masculine, singular definite article. The third answer on the other hand show the correct feminine, singular Spanish article for 'the'.
  7. All of THE friends came to the same decision.
    You now know that 'the' is a definite article so that means you can eliminate the first and second answers as they both show indefinite articles. Next you look at the noun 'friends'. Here you do not know if the friends are all boys, all girls or a mixture of both. When the gender is not known, the masculine form of the word is always used. The masculine, plural form of the word 'friends' in Spanish is amigos. The third answer can now be eliminated at is shows the feminine definite article. However, the last answer does show the masculine, plural, definite Spanish article for 'the'.
  8. The Sun is A star.
    The word 'a' is an indefinite article which means that the first and third answers can be eliminated as they show definite articles. The word 'a' also refers to a single thing not plural. The last answer shows the plural indefinite article for 'a' so it can also be eliminated. As the Spanish word for star is estrella and it is a feminine word, the indefinite article must also be feminine and singular which means that the second answer is the correct Spanish indefinite article needed here.
  9. Some people don’t even have A single hair.
    The word 'a' is an indefinite article which means that the second and third answers can be eliminated as they show the definite article for 'the'. The Spanish word for hair is pelo which is a masculine word. The last answer shows a feminine indefinite article so it, too, can be eliminated leaving the first answer which shows the correct Spanish indefinite, masculine article for 'a'.
  10. SOME furniture looks too modern for me.
    The word 'some' is an indefinite article which means that the last answer can be eliminated as it shows the definite article 'the'. The Spanish word for furniture is muebles which is a masculine word. The first answer shows a feminine indefinite article so it may also be eliminated. The word 'some' refers to more than one so it is plural which now means that the second answer can be eliminated as it is a singular, indefinite article. The third answer, on the other hand, shows the correct plural, masculine Spanish indefinite article for the word 'some'.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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