Request for explanation of use of definite articles

PatiC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Request for explanation of use of definite articles

I'm having trouble understanding circumstances when I need to insert definite articles (i.e., los, las, etc.) when translating a phrase in English that does not include the articles. Below is an example of what I'm referring to from this translation exercise:

[English sentence] "However, it is important for governments, companies and people to work together ..."

[Kwiziq Spanish translation] "No obstante, es importante que los gobiernos, las empresas, y las personas trabajen juntos..."

Why was it necessary to insert the definite articles "los" and "las"? I notice that sometimes they are included in the Kwiziq translations, and sometimes they are not. Please explain the grammatical rules that govern use of definite articles in such circumstances.

Thank you,

Pati Ecuamiga


Asked 10 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Pati

Here you can actually use the articles or omit them, both are fine. It's a question of considering all these "governments, companies, people" as "general concepts" (in which case there's a tendency to omit the articles) or seeing all these elements as more specific. 

Unfortunately, except for very specific cases and specific structures where they are always required (e.g with gustar, "Me gusta EL chocolate", or when they are subjects of the sentence: "El chocolate está muy rico") there is no precise rule as when to omit them or use them other than what I mentioned before, this being a subjective interpretation of the nouns they accompany as generic things or more specific. 

Sorry for not being able to offer any clear solution or lesson. I doubt there is one magic lesson out there where they can tell you with a single rule. It's a case of practising a lot and understanding these tendencies. 

Saludos cordiales

Request for explanation of use of definite articles

I'm having trouble understanding circumstances when I need to insert definite articles (i.e., los, las, etc.) when translating a phrase in English that does not include the articles. Below is an example of what I'm referring to from this translation exercise:

[English sentence] "However, it is important for governments, companies and people to work together ..."

[Kwiziq Spanish translation] "No obstante, es importante que los gobiernos, las empresas, y las personas trabajen juntos..."

Why was it necessary to insert the definite articles "los" and "las"? I notice that sometimes they are included in the Kwiziq translations, and sometimes they are not. Please explain the grammatical rules that govern use of definite articles in such circumstances.

Thank you,

Pati Ecuamiga


Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Getting that for you now...