At last! You have probably been waiting for this with baited breath! Yes, in Spanish, as in most other
languages, there are masculine and feminine-gendered words.
This applies only to nouns and their adjectives (modifiers). Don't panic! It isn't really that complicated.
Here are the basic rules:
- Masculine-gendered nouns are preceded by the Article "el"
(equivalent to "the" in English).
The piano, in Spanish is "el piano".
- Feminine-gendered nouns are preceded by the Article "la"
(also equivalent to "the" in English).
The bed , in Spanish is "la cama".
Here's how to recognize the gender:
-  Singular nouns in Spanish that end in ...a, ...er or ...ción
, are feminine [f].
la puerta the door la mujer the woman la nación the nation
For euphony, use "el" and not "la" for feminine síngular nouns that begin with "a..." or "ha...". This avoids using two "a" sounds nexto each other.
The equivalent English rule would be: "an apple" instead of "a apple".
Here are some Spanish examples:
el agua the water el hacha the hatchet el alma the soul
These are all femenine nouns inasmuch as they end in "..a". Using the article "el" does not change the gender of these nouns, and the plural reverts to the feminine article again, thus:
las aguas the waters las hachas the hatchets las almas the souls
-  Singular nouns in Spanish with endings other than the above, are masculine
[m]. These include nouns that end in "e", "en", "il", "o", "or" and "on".
el hombre the man el tren the train el mastil the mast el piano the piano el señor the Mister el cordón the cord
Nouns designating days, months, and languages are also masculine:
el día the day el lunes the monday el mes the month el Español the Spanish el Inglés the English
-  The plural femenine article is "las"
las naciones the nations
-  The plural masculine article is "los"
los pianos the pianos
- These together with the neuter article "lo" comprise the Definitive Articles in Spanish.
"lo" is used in conjuntion with an adjective. In English, of course, it is always "the (best,
highest, longest, etc.)"
lo mejor del artículo the best part of the article lo más alto del edificio the highest part of the building
-  This, that, these & those are expressed in Spanish as este (or esta),
ese (or esa), estos (or estas) and aquellos (or aquellas).
este momento this moment [m] esta manzana this apple [f] ese momento that moment [m] esa manzana that apple [f] estos momentos these moments [m] estas manzanas these apples [f] esos momentos those moments [m] esas manzanas these apples [f]
- Aquellos (or aquellas) is generally used when refferring to people
(pronounced AH-KAY-OHS & AH-KAY-AHS)
aquellos hombres those men [m] aquellas mujeres those women [f]
-  The Indefinite Articles are also gendered, thus:
In English, the singular "a" or "an" (a moment, an apple) are either "un" [m] or "una" [f], in Spanish depending on the gender of the noun:
un momento a moment [m] una manzana an apple [f]
The English plural "some" (some moments, some apples) in Spanish becomes "unos" or "unas", depending on the gender of the noun:
unos momentos some moments [m] unas manzanas some apples [f]
The English plural "a few" (a few moments, a few apples) in Spanish becomes "algunos" or "algunas", depending on the gender of the noun:
algunos momentos a few moments [m] algunas manzanas a few apples [f]
For quick reference, here's the list
- An adjective changes gender in accordance with the noun it modifies.
Remember that, in Spanish, the adjective comes after the noun!
el hombre astuto the astute man la mujer astuta the astute woman
The adjective becomes plural if the noun is plural.
los hombres astutos the astute men las mujeres astutas the astute women
If the adjective modifies masculine and feminine nouns, use the masculine plural adjective:
los hombres y las mujeres astutos the astute men and women las mujeres y los hombres astutas the astute women and men
Adjectives that end in "e", such as "grande" [large or big] do not change:
el hombre grande the large man la mujer grande the large woman
Grande, incidentally, is also used in Spanish to describe an elderly person, which is more polite and sensitive than using the adjective "viejo" [old]. In these cases, one would use the adjective in conjunction with the intransitive verb "está" [is], that denotes a state of being:
El hombre está grande The man is old La mujer está grande The woman is old El hombre está contento The man is happy La mujer está contenta The woman is happy
The intransitive verb "está" has an accent on the second syllable, whereas the article "esta" has an stress on the first.
|Spanish||Gender [m] or [f], [S]ingular or [P]lural||English|
|Spanish||Gender, Singular or Plural||English|
|un||m, singular||a, an|
|una||f, singular||a, an|
|algunos||m, plural||a few|
|algunas||f, plural||a few|