Gender, Plural and Spanish articles

Spanish is a gender-based language. All nouns and adjectives belong to a gender. There are 2 grammatical genders in the Spanish language: masculine and feminine. Grammatical gender is not a physical gender, it means different things.

The plural form is formed by adding –S or –ES to an ending, as well as in English.

  • Masculine nouns usually end in: Consonants, -O, -E, and there are some words in –A.

Every noun has an article that denounces a gender.

Masculine articles (indefinite, definite):

Un (singular), unos (plural) – indefinite articles

El (singular), los (plural) – definite articles

Some examples:

Un amigo – a friend (male)

El gato – cat

Un perro – a dog

El humano – human

Los humanos – humans

Un chico – a guy/boy

  • Feminine nouns usually end in: -A, -DAD, -CIÓN.

Feminine articles (indefinite, definite):

Una (singular), Unas (plural) – indefinite articles

La (singular), las (plural) – definite articles

Some examples:

La amiga – friend (female)

La familia – family

La diseñadora – designer (female)

La lección – lesson

Las carreteras – roads

Una chica – a girl

Unas canciónes – songs

  • Also, there are nouns that end in –E and –ISTA – they can be either masculine or feminine and they may have a plural form – just by adding –S.

El/la periodista, los/las periodistas – journalist(s)

El/la ciclista, los/las ciclistas – cyclist(s)

El/la deportista, los/las deportistas – sportsman(s)

There are exceptions when an ending doesn’t determine gender:

la foto – photo

el mapa – map

la radio – radio

la mano – hand

el clima – climate

el día – day

el sofá – sofa

el alma – soul

el tranvía – tram

el planeta – planet

el problema – problem

el programa – program

el sistema – system

el diploma – diploma

el políglota – polyglot

  • Spanish adjectives are divided into two types:

Adjectives that have gender ending –O (masculine) or –A (feminine) change gender and number:

Bueno – good (masculine), Buena – good (feminine)

El bosque hermoso – beautiful (masculine) forest

La montaña hermosa – beautiful (feminine) mountain

Los árboles cortos – short (masculine, plural) trees

And adjectives that have all other endings, they change only number:

Grande (singular), grandes (plural) – big

Interesante (singular), interesantes (plural) – interesting

La gente joven – Young people (singular)

Las chicas jóvenes – Young girls (plural)

Exercises

Use an appropriate definite article EL, LOS, LA, LAS:

  1. ____ cama – the bed;
  2. ____ camisa – the shirt;
  3. ____ biblioteca – the library;
  4. ____ niño – the child;
  5. ____ ojos – the eyes;
  6. ____ playas – the beaches;
  7. ____ soldado – the soldier
  8. ____ niñas – the children

Answers1: la, 2: la, 3: la, 4: el, 5: los, 6: las, 7: el, 8: las.

Use the adjective in appropriate gender and number

  1. Mis hermanos son ______ (ALTO – tall) – My brothers are tall
  2. Esta señora es ________(BELLO – beautiful) – This lady is beautiful
  3. Los gatos son muy _______ (LINDO – cute) – The cats are very cute
  4. Estes libros son ___________ (INTERESANTE – interesting) – These books are interesting
  5. La casa es _______ (VERDE – green) – The house is green
  6. El sol es _____________ (BRILLANTE – bright) – The sun is bright

Answers1: altos, 2: bella, 3: lindos, 4: interesantes, 5: verde, 6: brillante

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