Contracted masculine singular articles: al and del

In Spanish, to express to the / in the + masculine singular noun (a + el), you use the contraction al.

The same happens with the preposition de + el (from the / of the) which becomes del.

Look at these examples:

Los estudiantes dan los deberes al profesor.
The students give their homework to the teacher.

Nosotros vamos siempre al mismo restaurante.
We always go to the same restaurant.

Voy a comprar al mercado.
I'm going shopping in the market.

Granada es una ciudad del sur de España.
Granada is a city in the south of Spain.

El Gobierno aumentará el presupuesto del Ministerio de Cultura.
The Government will increase the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

Ellos vienen del cine.
They've come from the cinema.

You never use these contractions when the article el is part of a proper noun (place, work of art, book, etc.)

El avión despegó del aeropuerto de El Salvador.
The plane took off from El Salvador airport.

La noticia aparece en portada de El Tiempo de Bogotá.
The news is on the cover of El Tiempo de Bogotá.

Los turistas fueron a El Escorial.
The tourists went to El Escorial.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nosotros vamos siempre al mismo restaurante.
We always go to the same restaurant.


El avión despegó del aeropuerto de El Salvador.
The plane took off from El Salvador airport.


Los estudiantes dan los deberes al profesor.
The students give their homework to the teacher.


Ellos vienen del cine.
They've come from the cinema.


El Gobierno aumentará el presupuesto del Ministerio de Cultura.
The Government will increase the budget of the Ministry of Culture.


Los turistas fueron a El Escorial.
The tourists went to El Escorial.


Voy a comprar al mercado.
I'm going shopping in the market.


Granada es una ciudad del sur de España.
Granada is a city in the south of Spain.


La noticia aparece en portada de El Tiempo de Bogotá.
The news is on the cover of El Tiempo de Bogotá.


Q&A

Sherri

Kwiziq community member

19 February 2018

1 reply

I think the question is ambiguous. Isn't "Esta bicicleta pertenece al vecino" correct?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

20 February 2018

20/02/18

Hi Sherri,

Yes, you are right. This sentence: "Esta bicicleta pertenece al vecino" is also correct for "This bike belongs to the neighbour". However we used this one which means the same: "Esta bicicleta es del vecino", which means literally "This bike is the neighbour's" and here it needs a "de +el" = del. 

I hope this helped.

Inma

Carol

Kwiziq community member

22 January 2018

1 reply

I notice you use "deberes" for homework. I learned tarea. Is this regional or interchangeable?

Silvia

Kwiziq language super star

22 January 2018

22/01/18

¡Hola Carol! Both words are interchangeable and can be used equally for "homework". Just bear in mind that the gender and number change -masculine plural for "deberes" and feminine singular for "tarea". ¡Hasta pronto! Silvia

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