Masculine el los un, uno unos -o,-e,-ón
Feminine la las una unas -a,-e,-ción,-sión,

Noun Gender
In Spanish, nouns have gender. The two genders are masculine and feminine. It is not included. That does not mean that masculine nouns are used exclusively for males or feminine nouns used exclusively for females.

Determiners and Definite Articles
Spanish uses the determiners el for a masculine singular noun, la for a feminine singular noun, los for a masculine plural noun, and las for a plural feminine noun. These are also known as definite articles.

Noun Endings (refer to the table above)
Usual masculine noun endings are: -o, -e, -ón. Usual feminine noun endings are: -a, -e, -ción.
If the noun ends in e, sometimes the noun is identified by the person being spoken of.

Ex: estudiante = student.
el estudiante = male student
la estudiante = female student

Sometimes nouns will not follow a pattern. Sometimes there is no way to tell what the gender of the noun is just by looking at it. Ex: la mano, el mapa, el día

Some nouns are short forms of the noun and may look as if they have a different gender.
Ex: la moto (la motocicleta)     la foto (la fotografía)

Spanish uses the masculine determiner for feminine nouns that start with the á or accented ha. Ex: el álgebra (fem.).

Languages are considered masculine. Ex: el inglés, el español, el francés.

Plural Nouns
To make a noun plural, change the article and add s or es to the ending.
If a noun ends in a vowel, add s.
If a noun ends in a consonant, add es.

Ex: el mono (monkey) --> los monos (monkeys)

la cebra (zebra) --> las cebras (zebras)

If a noun ends with the letter z, the z will change to c.
Ex: el pez --> los peces.

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© September 2000,
Last Revised: November 01, 2003