In Spanish, all nouns are either masculino or femenino.
1. Most nouns that end in “o” are masculine, and those that end in “a” are feminine.
2. When masculine nouns end in consonants, we add the vowel “a” at the end to form the feminine noun.
3. Nouns ending in -ante, -ente and -ista, use the same form for both masculine and feminine.
4. Some nouns have very different masculine and feminine forms. That is why we must memorize their gender.
In Spanish, the definite article “the” agrees with the noun in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural)
In Spanish, the indefinite article “a or an” agrees with the noun in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural)
Number (Singular & Plural)
The best way to understand singular and plural rules in Spanish is observing the following table:
Plural forms also lose the accent marks.
Note: those nouns that have more than one syllable and ends in “s” keep the same form.
At this point, one of the most common questions among students is, how to call a group of mixed gender in Spanish. As you know “friends” in Spanish can be translated two ways, masculine (amigos) feminine (amigas); but, what if the word “friends” includes both genders, boys and girls? The answer for this common question is in the following table:
Gender of animals
As well as humans, In Spanish, all animals have gender. However, in this course, we will just review them. We are not going to go deeper into this part.
As you see above, animals also keep the four previous rules we studied about gender. However, some animals have only one gender to refer both genders.
It specially happens with insect or those animals whose gender is difficult to recognize with the naked eye.
Gender of things
As I said above, all nouns have gender and that includes things, places, and concepts. Probably you started feeling worried about how to memorize the gender of all this vocabulary. Fortunately, in Spanish, most of the things, places, and concepts end in "o" or "a". Of course, there are some exceptions, but we will talk about them later.
Here are some examples,
So far, I believe it is easy. However, here is the challenge:
1. No always nouns end in “o” or “a”. That is why memorizing is important.
2. There are some exceptions you must memorize.
Moto is female because full world ends in “a” (moto)cicleta.
Same with (foto)grafía.
3. Fortunaly, in Spanish many nouns end -ción, -sión, -tad or -tud and all of them are female.
4. All days of the week are masculine.
Important (to keep in mind)
1. Unlike humans and animals, things have only one gender. There is no such thing as a male and female phone. The phone is only male.
2. There are a few nouns whose meanings depend on the gender.
3. Finally, twenty-one countries speak Spanish. That is why sometimes we use different words to refer to the same noun (person, thing, fruit or animal).
In some countries people prefer saying “computador”, in other countries people prefer using “computadora”. Although both words refer to the same thing, both words have different gender.
El computador (masculine) and La computadora (feminine). However, you do not need to worry about this because in this course I will teach you the most common vocabulary used by Spanish native speakers.