In English there are two articles 'a' and 'the'. The definite article is 'the' and the indefinite article is 'a'.
The same articles are used for all nouns, none of which have gender. There is no distinction between singular and plural. In English, we say 'the cow' and 'the cows' or 'the building' and the 'buildings'.'
In Catalan, the article changes depending on the gender and number of the noun.
Nouns can be masculine or feminine. E.g. la dona 'the woman' (feminine) and el cotxe 'the car' (masculine). Feminine nouns often (but not always) end in a.
The Catalan definite article is el, la or l'.
L' is used in front of a vowel or 'h'.
El is used when referring to masculine nouns.
La is used when referring to feminine nouns.
|the father||el pare|
|the woman||la dona|
|the dog||el gos|
Els is used when referring to masculine nouns and les is used when referring to feminine nouns.
|the men||els homes|
|the women||les dones|
Un is used when referring to masculine nouns.
Una is used when referring to feminine nouns.
|a man||un home|
|the island||un illa|
|a father||un pare|
|a woman||una dona|
|She is a beautiful woman||Es una dona bella|
|a dog||un gos|
Uns is used when referring to masculine nouns.
Unes is used when referring to feminine nouns.
Catalan has dialects and variation between regions. One such variation seen in the balearic islands is that of the definite article.
Es and sa are used with masculine and feminine nouns respectively (in the singular).
Es and ses are used with masculine and feminine nouns respectively (in the plural).
In Catalan, the definite article is used before personal names. El is used for men and la for women.
|Do you know Joanna?||Coneixes la Joanna?|
|This is Mr Smith||Aquest és el senyor Smith|
|This is Mrs Smith||Aquesta és la senyora Smith|
Apart from when using the verb dir-se (to be called).
|I'm called John.||Em dic John|
|He is called John.||Es diu John|
Or calling someone by name - either to attract their attention, or attract their attention to something.