Alexander Gode & Hugh Blair IALA 1951
The DEFINITE ARTICLE is le 'the.' It shows no agreement in form with the following noun. A preceding preposition a or de fuses with the article le in the forms al and del.
le patre 'the father'
le matre 'the mother'
le infante 'the child'
le patres 'the fathers'
del patre al matre 'from the father to the mother'
le matre del infantes 'the mother of the children'
The definite article is used on the whole as in English.
'I like children' Io ama infantes
'I like the children' Io ama le infantes
'Where can I find flowers?' Ubi pote io trovar flores?
'Where can I find the flowers?' Ubi pote io trovar le flores?
The definite article need not be omitted with titles preceding proper names, except in direct address. It must not be omitted with abstract nouns representing the entire class, species, etc.
'Professor and Mrs. Somebody'
le professor e le seniora Alicuno
'Give me liberty or give me death'
Da me le libertate o le morte
'I am happy to see you, Dr. Somebody'
Io es felice de vider vos, doctor Alicuno
'She adores man and beast'
Illa adora le homine e le animal
The INDEFINITE ARTICLE is un 'a' or 'an.' Like the definite article it shows no agreement in form with the following noun. It is identical with the numeral un 'one.'
un patre 'a father, one father'
un matre 'a mother, one mother'
un infante 'a child, one child'
un vacca 'a cow, one cow'
The indefinite article is used as in English.
Both the DEFINITE and the INDEFINITE ARTICLES share with adjectives the possibility of pronominal use. See §38-§41.
mi amico e le de mi fratre
'my friend and the [friend] of my brother'
mi fratre e un de mi amicos
'my brother and one of my friends'
Io parla duo linguas; un al domo, un altere al officina; le un es francese, le altere anglese
'I speak two languages; one at home, another at the shop; the one is French, the other English'
Io parla duo linguas; le de mi familia e le de mi ambiente
'I speak two languages; that of my family and that of my environment'
When used as pronouns, the articles can take the plural forms les and unes. The latter is often to be rendered as 'some.'
le opiniones de mi patre e les de mi matre
'the views of my father and those of my mother'
Nostre amicos veni: les de mi fratre, un de mi soror, e unes del amicos de nostre parentes
'Our friends are coming: those of my brother, one of my sister's, and some of the friends of our parents'
In pronominal use the articles are capable of making a distinction between male and female antecedents, le and la, uno and una, all of which have in turn plural forms. The distinction need not be observed when the context is clear without it.
Mi fratre e mi soror invita lor melior amicos; le de mi fratre ama la de mi soror
'My brother and sister invite their best friends; my brother's [best friend] loves my sister's [best friend]'
Mi fratre e mi soror ha multe amicos. Uno de mi fratre ama una de mi soror
'My brother and my sister have many friends. One of my brother's [friends] loves one of my sister's [friends]'
mi amicos, unos de mi fratre, e las de mi soror
'my friends, some of my brother's [boy friends], and the girl friends of my sister'
Note that the definite article in pronominal use has the male form le, the female form la, with characteristic final vowels appearing again with certain pronouns (see §54, §58, §78) while the indefinite article in pronominal use has the male-female distinction uno-una with final vowels to be encountered with nouns (see §24).
The definite article has a neuter pronominal form lo which occurs especially in the phrase lo que 'that which, what.' Its plural, rarely needed, is of course los.
lo que io pensa
'what I think'
Io non sape lo que ille pensa
'I don't know what he thinks'