The gender and number of nouns 1

  • GENRE: masculine – feminine

All the nouns in Spanish have genre, they are masculine or feminine. There are few rules that help us to decide what is the genre of the noun:

– In general, all nouns that end in: -o, -ón and -r are masculine.

el perro – the dog                         el teclado – the keyboard

el libro – the book                        el cuaderno – the notebook

– In general, all nouns that end in -a, -ción, -sión, -dad, -tad are feminine.

la rata – the rat                             la casa – the house

la canción – the song                  la motivación – the motivation

la verdad – the truth                   la piedad – the mercy

la libertad – the liberty              la amistadthe friendship

But there are a lot of exceptions:

el mapa – the map

la mano – the hand

el problema – the problem

– The nouns that end in -e or in other consonants can be masculine or feminine.

la nube – the cloud                       el hombre – the man

el árbol – the tree                          la miel – the honey

– The nouns that end in -ista can be masculine and feminine (because they are professions)

el, la periodista – the journalist 

el, la masajista – the masseur

  • Masculine to Feminine: In order to change a masculine word into a feminine one, for the professions for instance, we have this 3 rules:

1. The words that end in -o change the “o” into an “a”

el fotógrafo > la fotógrafa the photographer

el panadero > la panaderathe baker

2. The words that end in consonant add an “a”

el profesor > la profesora the teacher

el boxeador > la boxeadorathe boxer

el escritor > la escritorathe writer

3. The words that end in “e”:

3.1 don’t change

el cantante > la cantante the singer

el estudiante > la estudiantethe student

3.2 change the “e” for an “a”

el dependiente > la dependienta the shop assistant

– There are nouns that have a word for masculine and another for feminine:

el padre / la madre – the father / the mother

el toro / la vaca – the bull / the cow

el gallo / la gallina – the rooster / the hen

  • NUMBER: singular – plural

There are two rules to transform a singular noun into plural:

1. Add an “s”

el perro > los perros

la casa > las casas

2. Add “es” with the words that end in consonant.

el profesor > los profesores

la canción > las canciones

2.1 When the word end in “z” it changes to “c” and add “es”

el pez > los peces


Finally, if you want to practice your listening skills, here I leave you with a video class about this topic in Spanish with subtitles in Spanish.