Introduction to Determiners

Determiners

Determiners from the Spanish in Texas Corpus

A determiner qualifies or determines the meaning of a noun by expressing such concepts as quantity or definiteness. Determiners are usually placed before the noun. Determiners always agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.

Types of Determiners

Articles are the main group of determiners in Spanish. There are two categories of articles: definite and indefinite.

Definite Articles

el, la, los, las

They introduce nouns that are specific. They are translated as the in English.

Mi mamá tenía la tradición de que el hombre no hace nada, en cuanto a la casa no hace nada, no cocina, no lava, no limpia.
My mom had the tradition that the man does not do anything, he does not do anything around the house, he does not cook, wash, clean.

Indefinite Articles

un, una, unos, unas

They introduce nouns that are not specific. They are translated as a or an in English.

Y una vez escribí un ensayo, una historia y se quedó apantallada de que tan fluente fue mi ensayo.
And one time I wrote an essay, a story and she was shocked by how fluent my essay was.

Possessive Determiners

mi, mis, tu, tus, su, sus, nuestro, nuestra, nuestros, nuestras

They indicate ownership or possession like my, your, his, her, our, their.

Son mis raíces por eso que le inculqué eso también a mis hijos de hablar el español.
They are my roots which is why I instilled this in my children, to speak Spanish.

Demonstrative Determiners

este, esta, ese, esa, aquel, aquella, etc.

They point out something. They may be translated in English as this, that, these, those depending on the number (singular or plural) and proximity (near or far).

Bueno, primeramente ya tenía yo impresiones de este país porque lo visitaba, visitábamos El Paso mucho.
Well, primarily I had impressions about this country because I used to visit it, we used to visit El Paso a lot.