Uncountable nouns: with or without an article?

We may use an article or none at all before uncountable nouns like el agua, el amor, el calor, etc. (water, love, heat, etc.), depending on the situation.

Ella escucha música.

She listens to music.

Me encanta la música electrónica.

I love electronic music.

We add the definite article when:

  • We are referring to something specific or a particular kind:

La mantequilla está en la nevera.

The butter's in the fridge.

Compraré un móvil con el dinero de la abuela.

I'll buy a cell phone with Grandma's money.

  • We make generalizations:

En España a la gente le encanta el café.

In Spain people love coffee.

El aceite de oliva es muy bueno para la salud.

Olive oil is very good for your health.

We don't use the article with:

  • Unspecified amounts or when we're not referring to a specific thing:

No tengo dinero.

I don't have money.

Si vas al súper, compra mantequilla.

If you go to the supermarket, buy butter.

  • After words that specify amounts, like mucho, poco, bastante, etc. (a lot, a little, enough)

Hay poca gente en la fiesta.

There are few people at the party.

Betty tenía mucho dinero.

Betty had a lot of money.

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