In English, it is suggested that any initial "a, an, the" be ignored when alphabetizing a list (of titles, for instance). Thus, the correct alphabetical order of (1) A Zebra, (2) An Elephant, and (3) The Cow is supposed to be:

The Cow
An Elephant
A Zebra.

Is there a similar rule for alphabetizing in Spanish, wherein leading articles (or any other leading words) should be ignored? What would be the correct alphabetical order of (a) un bebé, (b) una bebé, (c) los dedos, (d) la familia, y (d) el policia?


  • @Lambie assume that the list is a list of book tittles that you need to alphabetize. Which order do you put them in? And I never suggested that you would drop the articles, merely that you would ignore them when alphabetizing your list.
    – ltcomdata
    Oct 30 '21 at 18:34
  • Generally, books are listed by author, not title.
    – Lambie
    Oct 30 '21 at 19:29
  • @Lambie Less humorously: many of the surviving libraries of this very day still file their fiction books by author. But if the same author happens to write several books (which are not part of a series) they are secondarily filed by the Title of a Book. And Microsoft's version of alphabetical order (which takes into account leading articles), is not the exclusive, nor the traditional, or even the correct alphabetical ordering, despite the fact that it has become almost universal.
    – ltcomdata
    Oct 30 '21 at 19:47
  • Yes, then, you ignore the articles. But in writing, you tell the reader you are doing so. Whereas in a library, you would not.
    – Lambie
    Oct 30 '21 at 19:49
  • 1
    I have answered the question. But here's the answer from Spain, from a library: bibliopos.es/… Without articles and so forth.
    – Lambie
    Oct 30 '21 at 19:58

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