Drawing of Don Quijote done in 1955 for Picasso

Spanish grammar

In this section we are going to learn the most important topics of Spanish grammar with the help of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza of a simple and very entertaining way. Next, you can practise what you have learned on the exercises pages.


The articles

Below there is a small fragment of the book of Don Quijote, where we can find several articles.

And in saying this, and entrusting to itself of any heart to his missis Dulcinea, asking him in such a situation to help him, covered good of his round shield, with the spear in the rest, it rushed forward to the whole Nag gallop and assaulted with the first mill that was ahead; and giving him a lance thrust in the sail, the wind turned it with so many fury, who did the spear pieces, taking after himself to the horse and to the gentleman, who was rolling very injured about the field. There came Sancho Panza to help him, to everything running of his donkey, and when it came found that it was not possible to wiggle: such was the blow that gave with him Nag.

The articles are a class of words that are in Home of the name. They indicate the genre - masculine and femininely and the number of the noun or element sustantivado. They qualify in defined when they refer to a well-known or specific noun and indefinite when they refer to an unknown noun.

Article Defined Indefinite
Feminine the (singular) spear
the spears (plural)
a (singular) lance thrust
a few lance thrusts (plural)
Masculine the (singular) blow
the blows (plural)
a (singular) blow
a few blows (plural)

In the text the word throws it is feminine, consequently the articles use it for the singular one and them for the plural.

But: why was not a spear used in the example?
Because it is not an any spear, but the spear of Don Quijote. It is a specific or well-known spear.

The same does not happen with a lance thrust. In the text it is an any lance thrust.

The sail or the sail?

Use of The One with feminine words

Sail is a singular feminine noun that begins for A keynote. So that a cacophonous shock does not take place between the letter - to of the article her and the letter a - of sail it is replaced for. The same happens with the feminine nouns that begin with ha - keynotes.

  • The sail
  • The fairy
  • The famine

The words below begin with A keynote, nevertheless, there are exceptions:

  • Her to (and not a)
  • The hache (and not The hache)
  • Arab (The Arab woman)
  • The Arab (The Arab man)

On the other hand, the nouns take the feminine article her, one or them, some in the cases of:

  • I use with adjectives:
    • The big sails
  • In plural:
    • The sails

Contractions

When the prepositions A and OF preceden the singular masculine article HE produces a contraction to himself:

  • To + = TO
    to the end, to the gentleman
  • OF + HE = OF
    of the wind, of the mill

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