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'El de' and Related Phrases

Definite Articles Used To Form Noun Phrases


The phrase el de and related forms such as las de can be used to form possessives or as a translation of "that" or "those" under some circumstances. Note that while el in such a usage might be considered a type of pronoun, it is not used with a written accent.

These words correspond to the definite articles: el, la, lo, los and las. The word used must match the noun it refers to in both number and gender. The singular neuter form, lo, is usually used to refer to an idea or concept rather than a physical object, although it can also refer to an unknown object (and thus one whose gender is unknown).

Such constructions can be translated to English in a variety of ways.

Some examples:

  • La lista, divulgada hoy, continúa incluyendo a presidentes como el de Guinea Ecuatorial. (The list, divulged today, continues to include presidents like the one from Equatorial Guinea.)
  • ¿Te gusta mi coche? El de Jorge es más caro. (Do you like my car? Jorge's is more expensive.)
  • Proteja su vida y la de su familia. (Protect your life and that of your family.)
  • Los Dioses controlan todo lo de la humanidad. (The Gods control everything that's humanity's.)
  • Me gustaría repetir lo del año pasado. (I would like to repeat last year's.)
  • ¿Qué computadora es la de María? (Which computer is María's?)
  • Los pasajes aéreos más caros del mundo son los de Honduras. (The world's most expensive airfares are those of Honduras.)

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