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Gender Agreement with Spanish Nouns

Gender of Spanish nouns:

Unlike English, Spanish nouns have gender, meaning they are either masculine or feminine.  Masculine nouns have masculine articles: el (singular) / los (plural). Feminine nouns have feminine artilcles:  la (singular) / las (plural).

Por ejemplo:

el libro – the bookmasculine

la mesa – the tablefeminine

There are some general rules as to which nouns are masculine and which are feminine.

Masculine noun endings
Feminine noun endings

-o

el libro – the book

-a

la mesa – the table

-ma

el poema – the poem

-ad

la oportunidad – the opportunity

all other consonants

el reloj – the clock

-ción

la nación – the nation

all other vowels

la clase – the class


Of course there are always exceptions…

  • el díathe day
  • el mapathe map

 

Singular and plural nouns:

To make a singular noun plural, the articles and the word endings will change.

  • el > los
  • la > las

To make plural nouns that end in vowels, simply add -s.

  • el libro > los libros – the book > the books
  • la mesa > las mesas – the table > the tables

To make plural nouns that end in consonants, add -es.

  • el reloj > los relojes – the clock > the clocks
  • la universidad > las universidades – the university > the universities

Spelling changes – in order to maintain proper pronunciation, nouns that end in -z change to -c in the plural.

  •  el lápiz > los lápices

Accent change – Spanish nouns that end in consonants with a written accent mark drop the accent in the plural.

  • la lección > las lecciones

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