Nouns in Spanish - The Gender

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A noun (“nombre” in Spanish) is a word that represents a person, a thing, a place or an idea




María, woman, father...


Chair, meat, car...


School, beach, Barcelona, Russia...


Freedom, comunism, enthusiasm...



“Nouns” can also be called “substantives” or “names”

The importance of the Gender of Nouns in Spanish


In Spanish it is really important to know if a noun is male or female, because it has a lot of effect in the words sourrounding the noun.

(student note) ...Eh... Alberto, I´m getting lost!! Give me some examples!

Ok! Don´t worry, we are just starting!. For example, in English you can say “the house” or “the book” and the word “the” remains unchangeable.

Well, in Spanish “house” (casa) is a female noun, and book (libro) is a male one.

This has a huge effect on the way we say “the” in Spanish.

The house -->

La casa

The book -->

El libro

How to know if a Spanish noun is male or female

(student note) So... how do you know if a noun is male or female?

Good question!.

If a noun represents a living creature ( a man, a woman, a dog, a politician...), then it´s very easy to know if the noun is male or female, right? Just look at the gender of the creature!.

Male gender → male noun // Female gender → female noun

The father -->

El padre

The mother -->

La madre

The (male) cat -->

El gato

The (female) cat -->

La gata


(student note) But, what about the rest of the nouns? How do we know if they are male or female?

Generally it depends on the ending of the noun

Male nouns are those that end in...

Female nouns are those that end in ...

-o (librO, pollO, zapatO...)

-a ( casA, sillA, mesA...)

-or (ordenadOR...)

-ción /-sión (televisión, canción...)

-aje (paisaje...)

-dad (universidad, ciudad...)


But...if the noun ends in -e , there is no way to know if that noun is male or will need to learn by hearth!

Street → Calle (it´s a female noun)

Car→ Coche ( it´s a male noun)


The street La calle

The carEl coche

There is no real reason why “coche” is male and “calle” is female, but grammatically is a big mistake to change the gender of the nouns, so, you better study it! :-)

So, if I tell you that “ordenador” means “computer”, how would you say “The computer”?

el ordenador? // la ordenador?

Well, you first have to look at the ending of “ordenador” to see that it´s a male word (check the chart above!).


The computer -->

El ordenador

¡Hasta la próxima!



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Guest Thursday, 17 August 2017

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