The gender and number of nouns in Spanish 1

All nouns have gender (masculine or feminine) in Spanish. Now, how can you recognise if a noun is masculine or feminine in Spanish?

Watch the video below for a short and sweet explanation.


Masculine or Feminine in Spanish?

Let’s go into more detail. In the following part we will talk about:

  • How to find out if a word is masculine or feminine in Spanish?
  • How to transform a masculine word into a feminine one
  • How to transform a singular word into a plural one


(masculine/feminine, singular/plural)

  • 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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.

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One thought on “The gender and number of nouns in Spanish

  • Chelda

    If only languages were learly so logical Like Spanish, German has a strict rule for associating gender with every noun. There is not only Masculine and Feminine but also Neutral (like it’ in English). The things get more complicated when the genders switch forms with tenses and grammar structure. There is absolutely no logic behind these genders, and they have apparently just come into usage’ with time. For example:Water is neutral and so is Beer. Milk is feminine and wine is Masculine.Train is masculine, Car is neutral.Boy is masculine, but girl is neutral.Sun is feminine, moon is masculine.goes on and on Hindi is so much better !!