Hola a tod@s y bienvenid@s de nuevo a un blog sobre Spanish Grammatical Gender. First of all, it is important to know that in Spanish, all nouns have a grammatical gender. This grammatical gender can be feminine or masculine. In other words, all Spanish nouns are feminine or masculine. Of course, there are grammatical rules for differentiating nouns that are masculine from feminine. In this post we are going to know these grammar rules in the easiest way to improve our Spanish quickly.
That said, it is important to be clear that these rules always have exceptions and that these exceptions can complicate us a bit. However, it is also not convenient to obsess over this. Next we will also see the exceptions to the rule to have a more complete knowledge of Spanish grammar.
Female or Male
Knowing how to differentiate them is not always easy and, although it is one of the first things that you learn, for many of you, this topic is a burden that you carry throughout your learning process. Of course, we should not be obsessed with this, since there are some points that we can know and that will serve as a basis for mastering this topic. To differentiate feminine from masculine nouns, we will write in front of them the article that corresponds to each gender el (masculine), la (feminine).
First of all, we must know that the names that refer to people and animals have two genders (female and male).
- In most cases, to change gender, we have to change the last letter a – o.
el gato – la gata / el hermano – la hermana [the cat – the cat / the brother – the sister]
- Sometimes they have different words:
el caballo – la yegua / el padre – la madre [the horse – the mare / the father – the mother]
- Some animal names are female or male.
el ratón (macho / hembra) / la jirafa (macho / hembra)
[the mouse (male / female) / the giraffe (male / female)]
- And some words that designate professions are common in terms of gender. In other words, this means that they are used equally for men and women.
el policía – la policía / el cantante – la cantante
[the police – the police / the singer – the singer]
Attention!! We must differentiate between commons in gender nouns and only male or female.
Only male or female nouns.
La jirafa macho es más peligrosa que la jirafa hembra
[The male giraffe is more dangerous than the female giraffe.]
Commons in gender nouns.
La policía se llama Ana / El policía se llama Juan
[The police officer’s name is Ana / The police officer’s name is Juan]
- Ending in –a, –tad, –dad, –ción, –sión.
la casa / la libertad / la ciudad / la habitación / la pensión
[the house / the freedom / the city / the room / the pension]
- Nombres de letras, horas.
b> la be / j> la jota / la una y media / las siete y media [b> the be / j> the jei / half past one / half past seven]
- Ending in –e.
la noche / la tarde / la leche / la calle [the night / the afternoon / the milk / the street]
Attention!! For phonetic reasons, when a feminine noun starts with a sound «a» (a-, ha-), we write the singular masculine article «el» before this word. However, in plural we write the feminine plural article «las«.
el águila – las águilas / el hacha – las hachas [the eagle – the eagles / the ax – the axes]
la mano / la foto / la radio / la moto [the hand / the photo / the radio / the motorcycle]
- Ending in –o, consonante.
el oso / el camión / el trabajo / el lápiz / el piano / el ordenador
[the bear / the truck / the work / the pencil / the piano / the computer]
- Ending in –e.
el cine / el coche / el aceite / el estuche / el chicle
[the cinema / the car / the oil / the case / the gum]
- Days of the week, numbers, colors, months, compound words.
el lunes, el martes… / el paraguas (para-aguas) / el rojo, el verde… / *el agosto
[Monday, Tuesday … / the umbrella / red, green … / * August]
*Attention!! Please note that months are not normally used with articles. Only the months with article are written when next we are going to specify something.
Mi cumpleaños es en
el agosto / El agosto que viene es mi cumpleaños
[My birthday is in August / Next August is my birthday]
el día / el idioma / el mapa [the day / the language / the map]
I hope you enjoyed this explanation of Spanish grammar. Keep learning more about Spanish and Hispanic culture on this blog.