A l'abast

Shapes and symbols used in this guide

One of the features of the Catalan language is the coexistence of two sets of articles: el pa, es pa (‘the bread’) for masculine words; la casa, sa casa (‘the house’) for feminine words. The first type of article (el/la) is the most widely used; the second type (es/sa) is more frequent in colloquial language on the Balearic Islands and in some areas of the Costa Brava in Catalonia. However, the use of the article es/sa does not exclude el/la, which is the only option before many words and expressions, such as la mar (the sea), el món (the world), són les dues (it’s two o’clock), etc.

In formal language only el/la can be used. As a result, this is the setof articles used in A l’abast. The group of articles used in colloquial language is far more complex and has variations in certain towns and areas. Informal talks with native speakers, however, will help learners become familiar with these articles.

This material has also been drawn up from alternative or exclusive linguistic forms grouped together in different situations. Likewise, masculine and feminine gender forms, and synonymous terms and expressions are indicated by means of a forward slash (/).