Saturday, July 17, 2010

Interesting Uses of the Neuter Article Lo

Direct object pronouns, as you have seen in your studies, are an integral part of learning any language. One good way to showcase your mastery of the language is by using the direct object pronoun lo. Lo is known as a neuter article. Although not taught in many Spanish classes, neuter articles do play an essential role in the development of your language fluency.

The first interesting way to use lo as a neuter article is to accompany it with an adjective. For example, check the following sentence out:

Lo bueno es que él compró pasajes baratos. The good thing is that he bought cheap tickets.

Notice how we discharge the neuter article in this situation. When used with an adjective, lo + adjective indicates an abstract idea or a certain quality. "Lo bueno" can take on a definition of "What's good" or "the good thing". Other uses of the neuter article are as follows:

lo fácil the easy thing, the easy part

lo importante the important thing

lo mismo the same thing

lo increíble the unbelievable thing

Now, this list is most definitely not all-inclusive. Technically, if it makes sense, you can add the neuter article to practically any adjective out there. You should practice implementing this formula into your daily Spanish-speaking activities.

There are other uses for the neuter article lo. You can use the neuter article before the preposition de to refer to "the matter concerning..." or "the situation with...". Check out the following examples:

Lo de los problemas de la economía nos inquieta mucho. The matter concerning the problems with the economy bothers us a lot.

Lo de tu examen de español es grave. The situation with your Spanish test is serious.

Other interesting uses of the neuter article are:

Lo más/lo menos/lo antes posible As much/as little/as early as possible...

Lo que necesito no existe. What I need doesn't exist.

Keep in mind that the neuter article is basically what its name implies: neutral. Usually it refers to a general or abstract concept.

¡Sigue estudiando!

Professor Joel

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