Lock in our old prices!
Your last chance to upgrade at these rates »

Difference between él and el in Spanish (he or the)

There are words in Spanish that change their meaning depending on whether they do or do not have a written accent.

Let's look at "él" vs "el".

The Spanish "él"

  • Él is a subject personal pronoun.
  • It has a written accent on the letter é.
  • The direct English translation is he.

For example:

Él tiene muchos amigos.He has lots of friends.

The Spanish "el"

  • El is written without an accent on the letter e.
  • It is a definite article.
  • The direct English translation is the, used with singular masculine nouns.

For example:

El coche es azul.The car is blue.

 Here are some more examples:

Mi novio es italiano y él es muy guapo.My boyfriend is Italian and he is very handsome.

Él está haciendo el asado.He is doing the roast.

Ella es muy simpática pero él es muy antipático.She is very nice but he is very rude.

El color azul es mi favorito.The color blue is my favorite [color].

El gato quiere su comida.The cat wants his food.

  • Él = he
  • El = the

See also:

 

 

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Brainmap today »

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Él tiene muchos amigos.He has lots of friends.
El coche es azul.The car is blue.
Mi novio es italiano y él es muy guapo.My boyfriend is Italian and he is very handsome.
Él está haciendo el asado.He is doing the roast.
Ella es muy simpática pero él es muy antipático.She is very nice but he is very rude.
El gato quiere su comida.The cat wants his food.
El color azul es mi favorito.The color blue is my favorite [color].
Clever stuff happening!