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  • Writer's pictureClaudio

FEMININE and MASCULINE of nouns in Spanish

Updated: Feb 10

In Spanish, the gender of a noun is important because it affects the forms of adjectives, articles, and pronouns that are used with it.


Woman guessing the gender of different nouns in Spanish

While there is no foolproof rule to determine the gender of all nouns, there are some general guidelines that can help you make educated guesses. Here are a few tips:


Masculine Endings:

- Nouns ending in -o are often masculine. For example, "perro" (dog) and "libro" (book).

- Nouns ending in -or, -án, -és, and -ma are usually masculine. For example, "profesor" (professor), "hospital" (hospital), "inglés" (English), and "problema" (problem).


Feminine Endings:

- Nouns ending in -a are often feminine. For example, "casa" (house) and "mesa" (table).

- Nouns ending in -ión, -dad, -tad, -tud, and -umbre are usually feminine. For example, "información" (information), "ciudad" (city), "libertad" (freedom), "actitud" (attitude), and "costumbre" (custom).


Learn in Context:

- Pay attention to the gender when you learn new words. Try to learn nouns along with their corresponding definite articles (EL for masculine, LA for feminine).


Exceptions:

- There are exceptions to these patterns, so it's important to memorize the gender of specific nouns.

- Some nouns can have different meanings based on their gender. For example, "el capital" means capital (money), and "la capital" means capital (city).

- Feminine nouns starting with a "strong" A (meaning that the pronunciation of that A is strong), change their feminine definite and indefinite articles JUST in the singular form for the masculine variant, leaving the normal feminine articles when the noun is plural. This is considered a phonetic exception to make the sound of phrases smoother. The noun is and remain always feminine, but we just change the singular article for an easier pronunciation. Some examples of this phenomena could be:

  • el águila - las águilas

  • the eagle - the eagles

----------

  • el agua - las aguas

  • the water - the waters


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Practice:

Practice is key to mastering noun genders. Regular exposure to the language, reading, and listening will help reinforce your understanding of gender.


Remember that there are exceptions, and some nouns may not follow these general patterns. The best way to learn the gender of nouns is through consistent exposure and practice. As you gain more experience with the language, you'll become more intuitive in determining the gender of nouns.


That being said, in case you want to push yourself beyond the gender of nouns in Spanish, maybe finding new and powerful resources, plus the opportunity to practice your Spanish by talking in a professionally managed environment, if you want, you can take a look at our Live Conversation Classes (384 Classes available per YEAR — 1 to 6 students per class) 🙂


Complete Spanish Courses — from Zero to HERO in 6 months — can be found through our homepage 🚀


Qué tengas un maravilloso día!

Claudio

 
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