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The general rule states that all Spanish nouns are masculine or feminine.
Words ending in -o are generally masculine, while ones ending in -a are generally feminine. The articles which accompany a masculine noun are el (definite) / uno (indefinite), while the feminine ones are la (definite) / una (indefinite).
|Masculine nouns ending in -o||Feminine nouns ending in -a|
Usually words with the following endings are masculine:
Besides, nouns that designate male beings generally end in -o.
However, nouns that designate male beings may have other endings:
Although nouns ending in -a are mostly feminine, some of them are masculine.
Note that nouns ending in -ía, -ma, -ama, -ema, -oma have similar spelling and meaning in both English and Spanish.
El día (day)
El clima (weather, climate)
El programa (programme)
El problema (problem)
El idioma (language)
|-ambre||El hambre (hunger)|
|-aje||El lenguaje (language)|
|-or||El amor (love)|
|-án||El refrán (proverb)|
Certain groups of nouns are masculine.
|Noun groups||Examples||English translation|
|Days of weeks / months of the year||
El lunes me voy a la universidad.
Éste ha sido un octubre lleno de sorpresas.
On Monday I'm going to university.
This has been an October full of surprises.
|Infinitives as nouns||El hacer ejercicio es muy recomendable.||Working out is advisable.|
|Rivers / seas / oceans||El río Támesis está en Londres.||The Thames River is in London.|
Fruits are generally feminine
Usually words with the following endings are feminine:
Besides, nouns which designate female beings generally end in -a.
However, nouns that designate female beings may have other endings:
La mujer (woman)
Although nouns ending in -o are mostly masculine, some of them are feminine. Except for mano, most of them are abbreviations of compound nouns.
|-dad||La calidad (quality)|
|-tad||La amistad (friendship)|
|-ción||La calefacción (heating)|
|-sión||La decisión (decision)|
|-ie||La serie (serie)|
|-eza||La naturaleza (nature)|
|-sis||La crisis (crisis)|
|-itis||La laringitis (laryngitis)|
|-tud||La virtud (virtue)|
|-umbre||La certidumbre (certainty)|
|-e||using for both masculine and feminine nouns||
El examen (exam)
La clase (class)
using for both masculine and feminine nouns designating individuals and professions
El/La atleta (athlete)
El/La cantante (singer)
El/La intérprete (interpreter)
El/la dentista (dentist)
using for professions, animals, people
El inglés/La inglesa (Englishman/Englishwoman)
El campeón/La campeona (champion)
El profesor/La profesora (professor)
|invariable nouns: the article does not change||
El ángel (angel)
La victima (victim)
|/||invariable nouns: the article identify the gender||
El/La turista (tourist)
El/La joven (young man/youngwoman)
Feminine nouns which begin with a stressed -a or -ha take the masculine definite article in their singular form.
The following goup of nouns include some common words:
|Masculine form||Femnine form|
|El actor (actor)||La actriz (actress)|
|El padre (father)||La madre (mother)|
|El marido / esposo (husband)||La esposa (wife)|
|El padre (father)||La madre (mother)|
|El príncipe (prince)||La princesa (princess)|
|El héroe (hero)||La heroína (heroine)|
|El rey (king)||La reína (queen)|
|Masculine form||Feminine form|
|El capital - capital (money)||La capital - city|
|El corte - cut||La corte - court|
|El cura - priest||La cura - cure|
|El editorial - newspaper editorial||La editorial - publishing house|
|El frente - front||La frente - forehead|
|El guía - guide||La guía - female guide, telephone guide, guidebook|
|El policía - police officer||La policía - the police force|
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