Spanish neuter article “lo”

Spanish neuter article LO

Welcome to our grammar lesson about the Spanish neuter article lo.

The neuter lo is less frequent than the masculine “el” and the feminine “la”. But it has some uses that the Spanish learner needs to know.

Two sentences including the Spanish article "lo"
Two sentences including the article “lo”

In this lesson, we will learn when to use the article lo, providing example sentences.

At the end you’ll find an Exercise for practice.

“lo” meaning “the thing/s”

The article lo can work in sentences as a substitute for “la cosa” (the thing) or “las cosas” (the things)

By using “lo”, we can make shorter and better sounding sentences:

La cosa importante es estudiar mucho.
Lo importante es estudiar mucho.
Both sentences mean “The important thing is to study a lot”.

La cosa más bonita de la ciudad es este parque.
Lo más bonito de la ciudad es este parque.
Both mean “The most beautiful thing in the city is this park”.

No entiendo las cosas que dices.
No entiendo lo que dices.
Both mean “I don’t understand what you say (the things you say)”.

La cosa que quiero es jugar.
Lo que quiero es jugar.
Both mean “What I want (the thing that I want) is to play”.

Note: When lo is used in this way, all adjectives connected with it must be in masculine singular form.

Example: “La cosa más bonita” becomes “lo más bonito“.

“lo” to emphasize a quality

We can use this formula to emphasize a certain quality: lo + adjective or adverb + que:

Es increíble lo inteligente que eres.
It’s amazing how smart you are.

Me gusta lo claro que hablas.
I like how clear you speak.

Note: When lo has this use, it can precede adjectives in any form: masculine, feminine, singular and plural.

For example:

Me sorprende lo buena que eres.
I’m amazed at how good you are. (talking to a woman)

No me gusta lo groseros que sois.
I don’t like how rude you guys are. (talking to several men)

Practice

Exercise

In this exercise, we practice the first use of “lo” we learned in this lesson: as a substitute for “la cosa” or “las cosas”.

Fill the gaps using “lo” and any other words needed, so that both sentences of each pair have the same meaning:

1) I like exotic things:
Me gustan las cosas exóticas.
Me gusta __ ___.

2) We’ve done the most difficult thing in the world:
Hemos hecho la cosa más difícil del mundo.
Hemos hecho __ ___ ____ del mundo.

3) The ring is the most expensive thing in this jewelry:
El anillo es la cosa más cara en esta joyería.
El anillo es __ ___ ____ en esta joyería.

4) It’s the best thing:
Es la mejor cosa.
Es __ ___.

5) Francisco is interested in all things political:
A Francisco le interesan todas las cosas políticas.
A Francisco le interesa ____ __ _____ .

Solutions:
1) lo exótico
2) lo más difícil
3) lo más caro
4) lo mejor
5) todo lo político

A different “lo”: the direct object pronoun

This lesson has been about the neuter article “lo”.

But there is another “lo” in Spanish which is not an article, but a direct object pronoun.

Click here to learn Direct Object Pronouns!

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