Learn about Spanish genders.
Enjoy your free lesson on Spanish Genders.
Every Spanish noun is preceded by a Spanish gender - either masculine and feminine. In English they are translated as the definite article 'the', and the indefinite article, 'a'.
The: (Definite Article)
Masculine gender: Singular = el / Plural = los.
Feminine gender: Singular = la / Plural = las
A: (Indefinite Article)
Masculine gender: Singular = un / Plural = unos.
Feminine gender: Singular = una / Plural = unas
When learning Spanish genders, there are no hard and fast rules about which Spanish nouns are classified as feminine and which are masculine, however there are a few general guidelines we can follow.
Just be aware there are usually exceptions to every rule!
It is always best to learn the gender with the word. Most courses teach this but only a very few give you a method of remembering a gender as you learn a word.
With Spanish Genders, these rules generally apply:
- • Most words ending in the letter –o
- el libro book
- el sombrero hat
- • Words referring to male people and animals.
- el hombreman
- el doctor male doctor
- el toro bull
- • Fruit trees are often masculine.
- el naranjo orange tree
- el manzano apple tree
- • Countries not ending in –a are usually masculine.
- el Chile Chile
- los Estados Unidos United States
- • Compound nouns (made up of two words) are masculine.
- el paraguas umbrella – for + water
- el sacacorchos corkscrew – pull + cork
- • Most words ending in the letter –a.
- la manta blanket
- la casa house
- •Words referring to female people and animals.
- la mujer woman
- la doctora female doctor
- la vaca cow
- • Fruit are often feminine.
- la manzana apple
- la naranja orange
- • Countries ending in –a are usually feminine.
- la España Spain
- la Suiza Switzerland
- • -eza, -ión, -dad, -umbre endings are mostly feminine.
- la cabeza head
- la canción song
- la verdad truth
- la muchadumbre crowd
- Sometimes, a noun may stay the same, but the Spanish gender differs depending on the sex of the person.
- el / la estudiante student
- el / la guía guide
- Some nouns stay the same and can use both Spanish genders BUT their meanings change!
- el coma coma - la coma comma
- el capital money - la capital capital city
- el frente front - la frente forehead
- el policía policeman) - la policía police force
- el final the end - la final final – of a competition
- el corte cut - la corte court- royal
- el orden order - la orden order, command
- The masculine definite article el contracts with the following prepositions - a (to) and de (from).
- a + el = al
- al cine to the cinema
- de + el = del
- del cine from the cinema
So now you're thinking .... how do I remember which Spanish gender goes with which noun?
To help you learn the and assist in the recall of the Spanish genders, we have incorporated a range of innovative techniques into our multi-modal language courses.
To find out more, click on the link below.
Learn Spanish Genders the 200 Words a Day! way!
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