Masculine and feminine in Spanish: the gender of nouns

It is quite important to know the gender of the nouns in Spanish. In today’s post, we are going to give you some tips to learn more about masculine and feminine in Spanish. 

Learn the gender of nouns in Spanish

Masculine and feminine in Spanish

Notice that. although it is seldom possible to predict with certainty whether a given Spanish noun is of masculine or feminine gender, Spanish has numerous guidelines that can usually be followed. The most well-known rule or guideline is that nouns ending in –o are masculine and those ending in –a are feminine,

El libro (book)                  La casa (house)

El cuadro (painting)          La mesa (table)

Nevertheless, there are numerous exceptions to this gender rule, especially for those ending in –a (Many of them are listed below), and words ending in any other letter can be either masculine or feminine,  so the best advice is that you learn every new word along with its gender by using the articles, for instant:

El árbol (tree)                 El coche (car)

El lápiz (pencil)               La mano (hand)

Anyway, here you have some basic but useful rules.

7 rules to identify the gender in Spanish

1. Nouns ending in certain suffixes are usually feminine. They include –ción (usually the equivalent of “-tion”), sión, -ía (usually equivalent of “-y”, although not in the diminutive sense), -za, –dad (often used like “-ty”) and –tis is (“-it is).

La nación (nation)                     La felicidad (happiness)

La ocasión (occasion)                La caridad (charity)

La economía (economy)            La meningitis (meningitis)

La pobreza (poverty)

2. Nouns of greek origin ending in –ma are usually masculine.

El problema (problem)                  El poema (poem)

El drama (drama)                         El tema (subject)

3. Nouns ending in an accented vowel are usually masculine.

El sofá (sofa)                                El tabú (taboo)

El chalé (detached house)           El rubí (ruby)

4. Nouns with certain endings are usually masculine. These include –aje (usually the equivalent of “-age”), -ambre and –or. An exception is la flor (flower).

El mensaje (message)       El viaje (trip)

El hambre (hunger)           El calambre (cramp)

El calor (heat)                    El dolor (pain)

5. Infinitives used as nouns are masculine.

El fumar (smoking)           El cantar (singing)

El viajar (travelling)          El escuchar (listening)

6. Months and days of the week are masculine

Enero es frío (January is cold)    El lunes (Monday)

7.  Letters are feminine while numbers are masculine

La d (d)                  El 7 (seven)

Why to learn the gender of Spanish nouns

Learning the gender of the nouns is quite important because adjectives, articles, and demonstratives have to agree with this gender:

El coche es rojo (the car is red).

Estas flores son bonitas (these flowers are beautiful).

Learn more about Spanish adjectives

Exercises about masculine and feminine in Spanish

Now you can practice what you have learned with the quizzes below and remember to contact your tutor with any question you have about the gender of nouns or to ask for more homework. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

On the other hand, if you want to learn more about this topic, ask questions, or practice with a native Spanish tutor, you can request one of our online tutorials.

Here you have more words that despite ending in «a» are masculine.

Masculine and Feminine in Spanish - Irregular nouns

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