Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!


When to use "de" vs. "del".

I'm so confuse when to use "de" or "del". I do know what they mean. "De" means "of" and "del" (or "de la") means "of the." This gets confusing when Duolingo asks for me to translate this sentence to Spanish: "Please come to my birthday party." It makes more sense to use "del" but it's "de." And also the sentence: "We talk about books." That's confusing because it uses no "of" but yet it uses "de." And an example when "del" is used is when Duolingo asks me to translate this sentence: "The girls sleeps near the cat." I just need some help. plz

3 years ago


  • 25
  • 20
  • 16
  • 15
  • 1828

It sounds like your issue doesn't really have to do with the word "de" at all, but rather when to use the definite article in Spanish. Unfortunately, there's not really an easy hard and fast rule for when definite articles are used. You've just got to get used to hearing them and gain a feel for what "sounds right".

Here's a couple good webpages that list the main scenarios in which to use/omit definite articles. I think you'll find them useful, at least to help get your feet under you while you spend some time picking up the subtleties:

3 years ago


Good post, Good dedication.

3 years ago


"de" is used to express an indefinite article, "del" is used to express a definite article. In the sentece: "The girl sleeps near the cat" which means "La chica duerme cerca DEL gato" the word cat is de subject of the sentence, therefore "del" is used with the definite articles and "de" with indefinite. Hope i could help.

3 years ago

  • 23
  • 21
  • 20
  • 15
  • 15
  1. I would say that "my party of birthday" sounds more correct than "my party of the birthday" in English, too

  2. "De" is used not because of "of", but because "to talk about" is "hablar de" in Spanish. It's part of the verb.

  3. See #2. "Near" in this context is "cerca de" in Spanish. You just have to learn when "de" is part of the Spanish word.

3 years ago

  • 25
  • 22
  • 12
  • 6
  • 4

Keep it simple.

el and la = the

  • if you use de before la, then all is well, forget about it. No worries.
  • if you use de before el then you must convert it to del

Examples: can + not = can't will + not = won't EL PASO DEL* COLEGIO AL INSTITUTO

I know bad examples, but "You've just got to get used to hearing them and gain a feel for what "sounds right" - quotes from a wise scholar @writchie4

3 years ago


the same question i have

9 months ago