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Using neuter article Lo + adverb/adjective + que + verb in Spanish

In Spanish "lo" is a neuter article that can be used with adverbs and adjectives (not nouns) followed by "que", to express surprise/admiration/disappointment about how something/someone performs an action or about what someone/something is like.

Have a look at the following examples with:

Lo + adverb + que + (verb conjugated in the indicative)

¡Lo bien que baila Ramiro!Ramiro dances so well!

¡Lo mal que hice el examen!I did so poorly on the exam!

¡Lo rápido que corre ese coche!That car goes so fast!

¡Lo lento que anda tu abuela!Your grandma walks so slowly!

Notice how, being adverbs, they don't agree with the subject. Be careful with adverbs that take the form of their adjective (e.g., rápidamente=rápido, lentamente=lento). In these cases we will use the masculine singular form of the adjective.

This would be incorrect:

"Lo lenta que anda tu abuela"

Now have a look at some examples with:

Lo + adjective + que + (verb conjugated in the indicative)

¡Lo simpático que parece ese chico!That boy seems so friendly!

¡Lo seria que es esa chica!That girl is so serious!

¡Lo verdes que están los campos esta primavera!The fields are so green this spring!

¡Lo altas que son tus hijas!Your daughters are so tall!

Notice how in the examples above, used with adjectives, these agree with the subjects in gender and number (simpático/chico, seria/chica, verdes/campos, altas/hijas).

It is sometimes difficult to know when a word is an adverb or an adjective, but as a general rule, in this type of sentence you will know that it is an adjective if the verb in the sentence is "ser", "estar" or "parecer"." So in these cases the adjective will agree in gender and number with the subject.

In all the cases mentioned above "lo" is invariable.

This type of structure isn't always in the form of an exclamatory sentence, as in the above examples; it can also be a subordinate clause. Have a look:

No sabes lo bien que actuó mi hijo en la obra del colegio.You don't know how well my son performed in the school production.

Ahora vas a ver lo bonita que es mi casa.You are going to see now how pretty my house is.

Mira lo chulos que son esos pantalones.Look how cool those trousers [US: pants] are.

It is also used with ordinal numbers, not necessarity to express surprise/admiration/disappointment, as with the examples above, but when simply meaning: "the first thing that ....."the second thing that ...":

Lo + ordinal number + que + [conjugated verb]

Lo primero que haré cuando llegue a casa es tumbarme en el sofá.The first thing I'll do when I get home is lie on the sofa.

Lo segundo que me dijo mi jefe fue que tenía que ser más puntual.The second thing my boss told me was that I had to be more punctual.

See also Using neuter article Lo + adjective + ser in Spanish

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Examples and resources

No sabes lo bien que actuó mi hijo en la obra del colegio.You don't know how well my son performed in the school production.
¡Lo lento que anda tu abuela!Your grandma walks so slowly!
Lo segundo que me dijo mi jefe fue que tenía que ser más puntual.The second thing my boss told me was that I had to be more punctual.
¡Lo seria que es esa chica!That girl is so serious!
¡Lo rápido que corre ese coche!That car goes so fast!
¡Lo mal que hice el examen!I did so poorly on the exam!
¡Lo simpático que parece ese chico!That boy seems so friendly!
¡Lo bien que baila Ramiro!Ramiro dances so well!
Mira lo chulos que son esos pantalones.Look how cool those trousers [US: pants] are.
¡Lo verdes que están los campos esta primavera!The fields are so green this spring!
Ahora vas a ver lo bonita que es mi casa.You are going to see now how pretty my house is.
¡Lo altas que son tus hijas!Your daughters are so tall!
Lo primero que haré cuando llegue a casa es tumbarme en el sofá.The first thing I'll do when I get home is lie on the sofa.
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