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Spanish Nouns and Articles

   

Spanish Nouns

A noun is a word used to identify people, animals, places, things or ideas.

Unlike English, all Spanish nouns have gender. Spanish nouns are either masculine or feminine even nouns that refer to non-living things (i.e. table). As in English, Spanish nouns are either singular or plural (i.e. table or tables).

 

The gender of nouns

Nouns are either masculine or feminine in gender. This is true for living or non-living nouns.

 

Masculine Noun

Feminine Noun

 

el padre       the father

la hermana       the sister

  el abrigo     the coat

la clase      the class

 

Spanish Nouns that refer to living things

Masculine Noun

Feminine Noun

ending in -o

ending in -a

ending in -or

ending in -ora

ending in -ista

ending in -ista

  • Nouns ending in -o or -or are usually masculine. Many nouns for persons have a masculine form when ending in -o or -or.

  • Nouns ending in -a or -ora are usually feminine. Many nouns for persons have a feminine form when ending in -a or -ora.

  • The masculine and feminine forms of nouns that end in -ista, like turista, are the same, so gender is indicated by the article el (masculine) or la (feminine). Some other nouns have identical masculine and feminine forms.

Spanish Nouns that refer to non-living things

Masculine Noun

Feminine Noun

ending in -o

ending in -a

ending in -ma

ending in -ción

ending in --s

ending in -dad

  • certain noun endings are associated with with a specific gender, so you can use them to determine if a noun is masculine or feminine.

  • Because the gender of nouns that refer to non-living things cannot be determined by certain rules, you should memorize the gender of each noun you learn. Memorize each noun with its corresponding  article, el for masculine and la for feminine.

  • Another reason to memorize to gender of every noun is that there are common exceptions to the rules of gender. For example, la mano (hand) and el día (day).

Plural nouns

To form the plural of nouns add -s if the nouns end in a vowel. Add -es if the nouns end in a consonant. Nouns that end in -z change the -z to -c, then add -es.

 

You use the masculine plural form of the noun to refer to a group that includes both males and females. If you have a group of boys and girls you would refer to them as chicos.

 

el tren ® los trenes

la mesa ® las mesas

el arroz ® los arroces

la cosa ® las cosas

el teatro ® los teatros la propina ® las propinas

 

The definite article

Spanish has four forms of the definite article the. The definite article in Spanish agree in gender and number with its noun.

 

Masculine Noun

Feminine Noun

Singular

el chico       the boy

la chica       the girl

Plural

los chicos     the boys

las chicas     the girls

 

The indefinite articles

Spanish has four forms of the definite article a and an and in certain context some.  An indefinite article is used to a unspecified person(s) or thing(s).

 

Masculine Noun

Feminine Noun

Singular

un chico       a boy

una chica       a girl

Plural

unos chicos     some boys

unas chicas     some girls

Un a or one, is used before a masculine noun; una a or one, before a feminine noun; unos, some, before a masculine plural noun; unas some, before a feminine plural noun.

 

   

 

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