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¿Cuál es el "lo neutral"? ¿De qué manera funciona? ¿Cuáles son ejemplos del lo neutral en contexto? Mi maestro me dijo que debo buscar de que manera funciona "el lo neutral" en contexto. Pienso que "el lo neutral" es la nombre de una construcción gramática, pero no puedo encontrar de que manera funciona.

Gracias por su consideración.

What is "el lo neutral" or "neutral lo"? How does it function? What are some examples of it in context? My teacher told me to determine how "el lo neutral" functions in context. I think that it is a grammatical construction, but I am not sure what "el lo neutral" refers to and could not find it online.

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¿Cuál es tú pregunta?, no entiendo lo que quieres saber, por favor agrega un poco más de contexto. Please provide more context, it´s unclear what are you asking – Emilio Gort Jan 26 '14 at 22:01
Yo trate de agregar un poco mas. – okarin Jan 26 '14 at 22:05
I think you should add your question in English, because how is written your question in Spanish is difficult to understand, el lo neutral that doesnt make sense in spanish – Emilio Gort Jan 26 '14 at 22:06
@EmilioGort I guess it's just a name made up by grammar books or teachers. I suppose, the OP refers to constructions like "lo rojo, lo bueno, etc." – c.p. Jan 26 '14 at 22:23
@c.p. should be something like this I guess Gender-neutrality – Emilio Gort Jan 26 '14 at 22:25
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't believe "el lo neutral" makes any sense... but I believe I know what you're referring to.

The word lo in Spanish has various uses. The most obvious perhaps is as the masculine direct object pronoun. e.g. *Tienes el diccionario?" ("Do you have the dictionairy?" / "No lo tengo" ("I don't have it.")

Now the use of lo in the neuter sense (that is, neither masculine nor feminine) is what I believe you're referring to. As far as I know, there are two similar situations in which it can/should be used:

  • as a subject pronoun to refer to an idea, concept, or generally something abstract. e.g. "Lo importante es que llegue en hora." ("The important thing is that you arrive on time." / "What is important is that you arrive on time."
  • as a direct object pronoun, in exactly the same way as above, except as an object pronoun in a clause. e.g. "¡No lo creo!" ("I don't believe it.")

Apologies if you were not referring to this construct, but the above is my best guess. Hopefully that helps a bit.

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This is what it was. I could not find it because I did not know the actual name. Thanks a lot! – okarin Jan 27 '14 at 3:31
In your first bullet (Lo importante [...]), lo is not a pronoun, but an article. Importante works as a noun here and takes the neuter article. – Gorpik Jan 28 '14 at 9:38
@Gorpik: I don't think that's true. "Importante" is an adjective as usual and "lo" is a pronoun meaning "the thing". – Noldorin Jan 28 '14 at 16:35
I've just read the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas and even the experts disagree, so I will not press this further. Quote: "Por su parte, lo suele considerarse como artículo neutro por su capacidad de sustantivar adjetivos y determinadas oraciones de relativo: lo malo, lo que está mal; para muchos lingüistas se trata, en cambio, de un pronombre." – Gorpik Jan 28 '14 at 21:14
@Gorpik: Interesting, thanks for that! Yeah, I think we both ought to accept it's pretty contentious, and leave it at that eh. – Noldorin Jan 30 '14 at 1:33

In addition to the existing answer, the lo particle –a neuter definite article– serves as a nominalization agent for adjectives.

adjectivelo+adjective = noun.

But, I wouldn't say that this construction holds only for abstract things. Actually the process of adding lo is abstraction itself.

You can nominalize every adjective.

lo rojo, lo inteligente, lo grosero, lo infantil, lo bello, lo inútil, lo grande, etc.

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Yeah, I mentioned this in my answer, though fair enough for pointing it out as a specific usage. (And the fancy name!) :) – Noldorin Jan 27 '14 at 16:13

Since the gender is unknown, the movie title is translated as:

"Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo"

"Lo que no mata, engorda" (similar to: "That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger")

"Lo" is also used when the following word has no gender:

"Lo interesante de este problema" "Lo mejor del viaje a Europa..." "Lo dicho, dicho esta" "Yo estaba de lo mas entusiasmado"

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