Gender of nouns in Spanish: Masculine or Feminine

Every noun in Spanish has a gender: Masculine or Feminine.

There are some general guidelines which can help us guess the gender of a noun if we don’t know it yet.

In this lesson we will cover these points:

  1. Some guidelines to guess the gender of a noun (with exceptions)
  2. Influence of the noun’s gender in other words of the sentence


1. Some guidelines to guess the gender of a noun (with exceptions)


Words ending in “-o” tend to be MASCULINE

Examples: el dinero, el supermercado, el kiosco, el barco, el océano, el milagro…

Exceptions: la mano, la radio, la foto, la moto… 


Words ending in “-a” tend to be FEMININE

Examples: la mesa, la música, la guitarra, la cabeza, la filosofía…

Exceptions: el problema, el tema, el idioma, el clima, el fantasma, el día, el planeta, el mapa…


Words ending in “-dad” are always FEMININE:

Examples: la habilidad, la edad, la capacidad, la bondad, la sinceridad, la maldad….




2. Influence of the noun’s gender in other words of the sentence

In a sentence, articles and adjectives need to match the gender and number of the noun they are connected to.

Example:

El niño pequeño está contento. = The small child is happy.

If we make the same sentence about a girl, articles and adjectives match the feminine gender:

La niña pequeña está contenta. = The small girl is happy.