Spanish contractions AL and DEL – Learn and Practice

Welcome 😊 to our grammar lesson on Spanish contractions al and del.

A contraction happens when two words merge into one. The only two contractions that exist in Spanish are al and del.

Two sentences with these Spanish contractions
Two sentences with these contractions

By the end of this lesson, you will know the rules to form the contractions al and del, and how to use them in sentences.

You will also find a Quiz and an Exercise to practice.

“al” and “del” – when do they happen?

al happens when the preposition “a” would otherwise be followed by the article “el”.
del happens when the preposition “de” would otherwise be followed by the article “el”.


Vamos al supermercadoVamos a el supermercado
¿Conoces al jefe?¿Conoces a el jefe?
Vengo del cineVengo de el cine
Es la hermana del profesorEs la hermana de el profesor

Exceptions – when the contractions don’t happen

“al” and “del” don’t happen if the article El is capitalized:

Vamos a viajar a El Salvador.
We are going to travel to El Salvador (El Salvador is the name of a country, so “El” is capitalized).

Tolkien es el autor de El Señor de los Anillos.
Tolkien is the author of The Lord of the Rings. (El Señor de los Anillos is the name of the book, so “El” is capitalized).

Also, in this lesson we are always talking about the article “el” (meaning the), not the pronoun “él” (with an accent mark, meaning he).

With the pronoun “él”, the contraction never happens:

Le preguntamos a él.
We ask him.

Las gafas son de él.
The glasses belong to him.



Take this short Quiz about “al” and “del”:


Fill the gaps choosing between the options in brackets. Click on the gray spaces to see the solutions:

1) Me encanta esta parte del libro. (del de el)
I love this part of the book.

2) El maletín es del profesor. (del de el)
The briefcase belongs to the teacher.

3) Esta es la portada de El Médico, la famosa novela. (del de El)
This is the cover of The Physician, the famous novel.

4) Voy a El Paso, Texas. (al a El)
I’m going to El Paso, Texas.

5) Ellos van al supermercado. (al a el)
They go to the supermarket.

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