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Spanish for Educators – How To Use The Gender and Articles in Spanish

Spanish for Educators – How To Use The Gender and Articles in Spanish

Spanish Gender: The Spanish language has gender, it is still a binary language! In this Spanish for Educators lesson you will learn how gender is used to denote a person, place, or thing.

Get ready to master el género y los artículos en español!

Spanish is a gendered language and requires the learner to master which nouns are masculine and feminine and which articles to use with those nouns. The articles must agree in both gender and number (singular or plural). Let’s jump in!

Oh, you should also know- there is a popular waves in some segments of society that are pushing for the use of a gender neutral option in Spanish or el lenguaje inclusivo. I also talk about that current trend and how it is playing out in society!

Su reto profesional: I challenge you to… start using the gender an number properly when talking in Spanish with your Latino students and/or parents/guardians. Don’t worry if you get it wrong, we all do!

Here is the Spanish lesson I taught to my Maestro Miércoles Facebook group:

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Objetivos de la lección / Lesson Objectives

In this lesson, educators will learn:

  • The concept of gender in Spanish
  • How to determine which article to use in communication
  • The different types of articles and the agreement between number and gender
  • Touch upon expressing classroom supplies using the correct gender and article
  • A small introduction to el lenguaje inclusivo in Español

Sounds like too much, right? Don’t worry! This lesson will help you to master these concepts 🙂

Download Gender and Articles in Spanish Notes TODAY

¿El Español tiene género? / Does Spanish language have gender?

All nouns in Spanish are either masculine or feminine; and, like in English, they can be expressed in the singular or plural form.

Number / GenderMasculineFeminine
SingularEl escritorioLa silla  
PluralLos escritorios   Las sillas

In this case, “escritorio” (desk) is masculine, while “silla” (chair) is feminine. So, for masculine nouns you can use “el” for singular forms and “los” for plural forms. For feminine nouns, you can use “la” for singular forms and “las” for plural forms respectively.

Examples:

Masculine nouns:

  • Singular form: el libro, el gato, el carro
  • Plural form: los libros, los gatos, los carros

Feminine nouns:

  • Singular form: la libreta, la gata, la moto
  • Plural form: las libretas, las gatas, las motos

Algunas reglas del género / Some Gender Rules

  1. Living creatures that end in -O and -A 
    • Examples: la niña / el niño, el maestro / la maestra
  2. Living masculine nouns that end in consonants have a corresponding feminine form that ends in -A
    • Examples: el profesor, la profesora
  3. Non- living nouns (you just have to memorize)
    • Examples: el marcador, la mochila
  4. Group of mixed gender – Masculino
    • Examples: los niños (boys and girls in this case)
  5. Some nouns that are professions have same form for masculine & feminine (-ista , -atra rule)
    • Examples: el especialista, la especialista, el psiquiatra, la psiquiatra
  6. Nouns that end in –sión, –ción, –dad, –tud and –umbre will always require the feminine article
    • Examples: la lección, la universidad, la visión, la actitud, la cumbre
  7. Most nouns that end in –ma are masculine
    • Examples: el problema, el dilema
  8. !!!Siempre hay excepciones!!!
    • Examples: la mano, ela, etc. 😀

Let’s see more examples of these gender rules

1. Nombres de criaturas vivas / Living creatures

These nouns have their corresponding masculine and feminine forms. Form some nouns ending in “e” you only need to change the article:

Masculine

Feminine

El chic La chica
El hijoLa hija
El estudianteLa estudiant 

2. Criaturas vivas que terminan en consonante / Living Creatures that end in a Consonant

These nouns have their corresponding feminine form ending in “a”:

Masculine

Feminine

El profesorLa profesora  
El señor   La señora

3. Cosas inanimadas / Non Living Things

In this case, you need to memorize the gender (sorry about that)

  • La mochila / Las mochilas
  • El reloj / Los relojes
  • La pizarra / Las pizarras

4. Sustantivos que terminan en… son femeninos / Nouns that end in… are feminine

The majority of nouns with these endings are feminine, so be sure you are using the proper article when talking:

Ending

Example

-dad

La igualdad de los derechos humanos para todos  

-tad

La amistad que se fortalece a través de los años  

-tud

La actitud correcta para aprender

-sión

La decisión de salir adelante 

-ción

La creación de puestos de trabajo

-umbre

La costumbre de Día de los Muertos

5. Muchos sustantivos que terminan en -ma son masculinos / Many nouns that end in -ma are masculine

  • El problema – The problem
  • El dilema – The dilemma
  • El tema – The topic
  • El idioma – The language
  • El programa – The program
  • El sistema – The system
  • El poema – The poem
  • El clima – The weather

6. ¡Siempre hay excepciones! / There Are Always Exceptions!!!

Spanish language also has its own exceptions, so the rules don’t always apply. Here are some examples:

Exception

Example

La mano

Me duele la man 

El día

Durante ela escolar, tenemos 8 clases  

La fuente

La fuente del parque está funcionando otra vez

La imagen

La cámara no captó bien la imagen  

Download Gender and Articles in Spanish Notes TODAY


Los artículos en Español / The articles in Spanish

There are 4 ways to say THE in Spanish, and each of them depends on the gender of the noun (masculine or feminine) and the number (singular or plural). There are two types or articles: the definite and the indefinite.

El artículo definido / The Definite Article

  • El: Masculino singular. Example: El marcador (The marker)
  • La: Femenino singular. Example: La botella de agua   (The water bottle)
  • Los: Masculino plural. Example: Los lápices (The pencils)
  • Las: Femenino plural. Example: Las tijeras   (The scissors)

El artículo indefinido / The Indefinite Article

This article is used to express “a”, “an” or “some”. Similar to the definite article, the indefinite one also depends on the gender and number of the noun.

  • Un: Masculino singular. Example: Un marcador (A marker)
  • Una: Femenino singular. Example: Una botella de agua   (A water bottle)
  • Unos: Masculino plural. Example: Unos lápices (Some pencils)
  • Unas: Femenino plural. Example: Unas tijeras   (Some scissors)

¡Ahora te toca a ti! / Now it’s your turn!

Study all of this classroom vocabulary in Spanish with these flashcards!

Solve the following exercises using the right gender and number with each noun:

Share your answers in the comments below or on our Facebook group to receive feedback from other teachers!

Download Gender and Articles in Spanish Notes TODAY

¡Arriésguense, abran la boca y cometan errores!

Leslie Foster
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