We have seen in our previous blogs that in Spanish, an article determines whether a noun is masculine or feminine. Therefore the article changes according to what the noun is. However, there is also the neutral article (lo) that does not change, regardless of the noun's gender, and is used to refer to abstract concepts.
Neutral articles are only used with adjectives, adverbs or participles where the object is describing an abstract noun. It is never used with nouns, however, sometimes it is used with the preposition 'de' + noun, seen here.
When to use the Spanish neutral article 'lo':
- Form a normalised expression.
Lo + masculine singular adjective
Lo bonito de Guatemala son las personas. (The beauty of Guatemala is the people).
- Gives more intensity to the adverb.
Lo + adverb
Lo poco que hago es importante. (The little I do is important).
- When we refer to someone without naming them exactly.
Lo de + noun
Lo de tu madre es emocianante. (The thing about your mother is emotional).
- Idiomatic expressions
- Por lo menos (At least)
- Me da lo mismo (It is the same for me)
- Es lo de siempre (It is the same as always)
Resources to help you learn more about when to use the Spanish neutral article 'Lo':