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

Gracias por su consideración.

What is "el lo neutro" or neuter "lo"? How does it function? What are some examples of it in context? My teacher told me to determine how "el lo neutro" functions in context. I think that it is a grammatical construction, but I am not sure what "el lo neutro" 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 Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 22:01
  • Yo trate de agregar un poco mas.
    – okarin
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 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 Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 22:06
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    @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.
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 22:23
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    @c.p. should be something like this I guess Gender-neutrality Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 22:25

3 Answers 3


I don't believe "el lo neutro" 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.

  • This is what it was. I could not find it because I did not know the actual name. Thanks a lot!
    – okarin
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 3:31
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    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
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 9:38
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    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
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 21:14
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    @Gorpik: Interesting, thanks for that! Yeah, I think we both ought to accept it's pretty contentious, and leave it at that eh.
    – Noldorin
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 1:33
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    I agree with @Gorpik first comment: see this entry from DLE in which "lo" is qualified "artículo determinado neutro" ("art. deter. n.").
    – Charo
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 8:27

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.

  • Yeah, I mentioned this in my answer, though fair enough for pointing it out as a specific usage. (And the fancy name!) :)
    – Noldorin
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 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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