Gender of Nouns in Spanish – Masculine and Feminine

Gender of Nouns in Spanish, Masculine and Feminine

Welcome to our grammar lesson about the gender of nouns in Spanish.

Every noun in Spanish has a gender: masculine or feminine.

There are no absolute rules for guessing a noun’s gender when you see it for the first time.

However, there are some guidelines that work most of the time. We will learn them in this lesson.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz for practice.

Guessing a noun’s gender

When trying to guess a noun’s gender, look at its ending.

Most of the time, if we look at the ending and apply the logic in the following table, we will get it right:

Typical endings of masculine nounsTypical endings of feminine nouns
-o-a
-or-ción
-aje-sión
-dad
-ía
-itis
-za

Examples and exceptions

Let’s read examples (and in some cases exceptions) for each ending in the table above.

Typical endings of masculine nouns

-o

Examples: el dinero, el supermercado, el kiosco, el barco, el océano, el milagro…
Exceptions: la mano, la radio, la foto, la moto… 

-or

Examples: el amor, el color, el calor, el dolor, el exterior, el trabajador
Exceptions: la flor

aje

Examples: el coraje, el viaje, el equipaje


Typical endings of feminine nouns

-a

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…

ción

Examples: la atención, la información, la corrección, la nación

sión

Examples: la tensión, la presión, la pasión

-dad

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

ía

Examples: la poesía, la filosofía, la teoría, la energía
Exceptions: el día, el tranvía…

itis

Examples: la bronquitis, la otitis

za

Examples: la cabeza, la cerveza, la cereza, la pureza

Influence of a noun’s gender in other words of the sentence

All articles and adjectives need to match the gender and number of the noun they are connected with.

Example:

El niño pequeño está contento.
The small boy is happy.

If we make that sentence about a girl instead, all articles and adjectives need to match the feminine gender:

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

Practice

Quiz

Take a short Quiz and try to guess the gender of several nouns!: