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

In Spanish "lo" is a neutral 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 + (conjugated verb in the indicative)

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

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

¡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 have to agree with the subject. Careful with some 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 + (conjugated verb 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 sentences you will know that it is an adjective if the verb in the sentence is "ser""estar" and "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 shown before; they could also be subordinate clauses. 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.

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

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¡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!


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 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 the exam so badly!


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


Q&A

William

Kwiziq community member

8 February 2019

1 reply

Lo rápido or lo rápidos

¡________ han hecho los chicos los deberes!How fast the boys did their homework!The answer given is "Lo rápido" but both "los chicos" and "los deberes" are plural. Why not "lo rápidos"

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

8 February 2019

8/02/19

Hola William

In this sentence we have Lo +adverb + que. The adverb here is "rápido", and adverbs don't agree in gender or number, they are invariable. I know that you may think that rápido can also be an adjective, e.g "coches rápidos", but in this case it is not acting as an adjective.

If we have a look at the sentence again: "¡Lo rápido que han hecho los chicos los deberes!, you can ask ¿how did they do their homework? answer: "quickly" -> adverb rápido =rápidamente.

However, it would be different if we said: "¡Lo rápidos que son los niños!" = How fast the kids are! Here, rápidos would be acting as an adjective for "niños", therefore they need to agree.

There is a note in the lesson explaining how you can spot when they are adjectives or adverbs.

I hope this makes it clearer for you to see the difference.

Un saludo

Inma

Simon

Kwiziq language super star

14 January 2019

2 replies

Doesn't "lo" mean "the thing"?

I always thought "lo" meant "the thing", is this correct in some other context?

Shui

Kwiziq language super star

14 January 2019

14/01/19

Hola Simon

You are right, "lo" can mean "the thing" in certain contexts. Take a look at this lesson about "lo que" and relative pronouns.

"Lo" can be used many different ways, here's a page that can help: Neutral pronoun "lo".

Saludos 

Shui

Simon

Kwiziq language super star

14 January 2019

14/01/19

Perfect thank you!

I'll be right with you...