The word “a” is an undefined article. In Spanish you use different words according to the noun you are referring to. For masculine nouns you use the word “un” for singular and “unos” for plural. For feminine nouns you use the word “una” for singular andunas” for plural.

Example 1: (singular feminine)
I want to buy a new house.

Quiero comprar una casa nueva.

Example 2: (plural feminine)
When you go to the market, remember to buy a bunch of apples.

Cuando vayas al mercado, recuerda comprar unas manzanas.

Example 3: (singular masculine)
Do you have a cookbook I can use?

¿Tienes un libro de cocina que pueda usar?

Example 4: (plural masculine)
I need a pair of shoes to match my new dress.

Necesito unos zapatos que hagan juego con mi vestido nuevo.


– David Corcoran

Hi Cecilia, great review of the word “a” in Spanish! Are the defined articles also known as the definitive articles? In this case, they would be…

el (masculine, singular)
The boy walks his dog everyday (El chico camina a su perro todos los días)

la (feminine, singular)
The girl has beautiful eye’s (La chica tiene los ojos hermosa)

los (masculine, plural)
The dogs are playing in the park (los perros están jugando en el parque)

las (feminine, plural)
The cats are hungry (las gattos tengan hambre)

– Sandra

La chica tiene los ojos hermosa (Incorrect)
La chica tiene los ojos HERMOSOS
las gattos tengan hambre (Incorrect)
Las GATAS TIENEN tiene hambre


– David Corcoran

Is it ok to use chica & chico…instead of niña & niño, when referring to a boy & girl?

– sandra

yes is OK, however, the use in each country in South America is different.
in colombia for instance, you can use chino/china, pelado/pelada.

– David Corcoran

interesting, I was not aware of the word pelado/pelada

– Cecilia

Hello David. You are correct! And I got the wrong names for the grammatical terms in English, as you say, they are called indefinite and definite articles. I will correct that on my post… sorry about that.

Here is an example with the difference between an indefinite and definite article:

He wants to buy a house (any house).
Él quiere comprar UNA casa. (UNA – for female singular indefinite)

He wants to buy the house on Maple Street. (specific house)
Él quiere comprar LA casa en la calle Maple. (LA – for female singular definite)

In Spanish you must match the article with the noun, so it’s a little tricky.

In Mexico we use niño and niña for kids, and chico and chica is used for teens or young adults. For example

The girl was playing at the park.
La niña estaba jugando en el parque.

He invited the girl to the prom.
Él invitó a la chica al baile de graduación.

Anothe word is chavo and chava (it is used in some parts of Mexico to refer to teens).

In Mexico, pelado/pelada is used to refer to rude people.

– agua_luna

also, is good to know that when in English somebody says.. “this girl” or “this person” referring to “just a girl” or “just a person” for telling a story or an event, the correct Spanish translation only in this case is “una muchacha” or “una persona” instead of “esta muchacha” o “esta persona” …

Do you know the four Spanish words for defined articles (not “a” house, but “the” house)?