EL GÉNERO Y EL NÚMERO
In spanish is very important to pay atention to the gender and the number of the nouns and adjectives, because many elements change according to this fact.
Some other languages have the same condition, but other languages don't have this concept of gender.
Before we go to more complex lessons, first we have to know how the spanish behaves. The words' gender and number is a basic element to go ahead while learning spanish.
Be patient, because later you are going to go up in a higher lever, but then you will be an expert about this point of grammar.
It is really simple, because the SINGULAR MALE nound and adjectives use the letter "O" at the end of the words (this is the regular case) so we will know that the next words are MALE and SINGULAR words
MALE AND SINGULAR
- ADULTO (ADULT)
- PERIÓDICO (NEWSPAPER
- TELÉFONO (PHONE)
- RICO (RICH)
- MUSEO (MUSEUM)
- ARQUITECTO (ARQUITECT)
- CARRO (CAR)
That is very easy, right?
Now the FEMALE nouns and adjectives normally ends with the letter "A" (in all cases exist some exceptions) but now we are just revewing the regular forms at this point. sp SINGULAR FEMALE words go like this:
FEMALE AND SINGULAR
- MOCHILA (SCHOOLBAG)
- BELLA (BEAUTIFUL)
- LIBRETA (NOTEBOOK)
- CAJA (BOX)
- RICA (RICH)
- MEDICINA (MEDICINE)
- IMPRESORA (PRINTER)
Still easy, right? well now we have a kind of words that end in "E", but this words have a particularity: there are some of this words that can be male or female gender, but there are other words that can be only male or only female gender.
Here you have some ecamples about the words that can be male or female gender using the same word:
Same word with ale and female function:
MALE AND FEMALE SINGULAR ENDING IN "E"
- INTELIGENTE (INTELLIGENT)
- PACIENTE (PATIENT)
- IMPORTANTE (IMPORTANT)
- POBRE (POOR)
- ÁRABE (ARAB)
- FUERTE (STRONG)
- VERDE (GREEN)
- GRANDE (BIG)
- ENORME (HUGE)
Now we have some words that can be ONLY MALE nouns and adjectives:
MALE SINGULAR ENDING IN "E"
- HAMBRE (HUNGER)
- HOMBRE (MAN)
- SOBRE (ENVELOPE)
- GUANTE (GLOVE)
And there are words that belong only to
FEMALE NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES LIKE:
- SUERTE (FORTUNE/RANDOM/LUCK)
- MUERTE (DEATH)
- FUENTE (FONT/SOURCE
- CUMBRE (SUMIT)
- LUMBRE (FIRE)
NOUNS ending in CONSONANT
Not all the spanish words end in O or A or E, but there are other words (nouns than end in CONSONANT but they still need to have a gender. Many other languages have this kind of words and it is very common (like in english). The ending of the word in spanish is very helpful to know what kind of gender it is, it it is important to build a coherent sentence (in english we can not say "The girl is handsome" because handsome is a male adjective as we can't say ·"The strong man is beautiful") The same happens in spanish .
The following list is about the words that end in consonant but they still have a gender:
MALE SINGULAR NOUNS: ENDING IN CONSONANT
- HOSPITAL (HOSPITAL)
- HOTEL (HOTEL)
- TAMBOR (DRUM)
- FESTIVAL (FESTIVAL)
- ALACRÁN (SCORPION)
- TEMBLOR (EARTHQUAKE)
- COLCHÓN (MATRESS)
FEMALE SINGULAR NOUNS that finish in CONSONANT
- VERDAD (TRUTH)
- CIUDAD (CITY)
- UNIVERSIDAD (UNIVERSITY)
- TENTACIÓN (TEMPTATION)
- SEDUCCIÓN (SEDUCTION)
- LABOR (LABOR/WORK/JOB)
- AMISTAD (FRIENDSHIP)
In some cases it is very easy to change the gender of a noun, just by changing the last letter !"O" or "A" like this
MALE "O" - FEMALE "A"
- NIÑO - NIÑA (BOY - GIRL)
- ITALIANO - ITALIANA (ITALIAN)
- CHINO - CHINA (CHINESE)
- RUSO - RUSA (RUSSIAN)
- MEXICANO - MEXICANA (MEXICAN)
- RICO - RICA (RICH)
- ALTO - ALTA (TALL)
- AMERICANO - AMERICANA (AMERICAN)
- BUENO - BUENA (GOOD)
- MALO - MALA (BAD)
To change the gender sometimes it is not that simple... and we cannot simply place the O or A instead. In this new cases we have to use a completly different word. Examples:
Using a different word to get the change of gender
- HOMBRE - MUJER (MAN - WOMAN)
- PADRE - MADRE (FATHER - MOTHER)
- CABALLO - YEGUA (HORSE male and female)
We said that "O" is normally used to indicate the MALE noun and "A" is normally used to indicate the female noun, but there are few exceptions to this rule. in some cases the male nounc can be expressed by words ending in "A" and there is one case in wich the female gender finishes in "O". And let's know that there are words ending in "A" that can be male and female with the same word
NOUNS IN -ISTA USED FOR MALE AND FEMALE
- ARTISTA (ARTIST both cases male and female)
- DENTISTA (DENTIST oth cases)
- TURISTA (TOURIST both cases)
- IDIOTA (IDIOT Both cases)
MALE WORDS ENDING IN "A"
- PROBLEMA (PROBLEM)
- SISTEMA (SYSTEM)
- FONEMA (PHONEM)
There is one case where the female word ends in "O"
- MANO (HAND)
In the most of the cases we just have to add an "S" at the end of the word but now we are going to revew the different examples.
MALE ending in "O" in this cases it is very simple and we just add an "s"
SINGULAR - PLURAL
NIÑO - NIÑOS (BOY - BOYS)
ZAPATO - CAPATOS (SHOE - SHOES
TELÉFONO - TELÉFONOS (TELEPHONE - TELEPHONES)
AMIGO - AMIGOS (FRIEND - FRIENDS)
SOMBRERO - SOMBREROS (HAT - HATS)
The same happens in the FEMALE case... whe normally a word ends in "A" we only have to add an "S" (there are always some few exceptions, be careful).
SINGULAR - PLURAL
- NIÑA - NIÑAS (GIRL - GIRLS)
- REVISTA - REVISTAS (MAGAZIE - MAGAZINES)
- COMPUTAFORA - COMPUTADORAS (COMPUTER - COMPUTERS)
- SOMBRILLA - SOMBRILLAS (OMBRELLA - OBRELLAS)
The next point is about the words that end in "E". To get the plural we just have to add an "S" so the end is "ES"
(Male or female it doesn't matter to get the plural)
SINGULAR - PLURAL
- HOMBRE - HOMBRES (MAN - MEN)
- TORRE - TORRES (TOWER - TOWERS)
- VERDE - VERDES (GREEN)
- ELEGANTE - ELEGANTES (ELEGANT)
- PADRE - PADRES (FATHER - PARENTS/2 FATHERS)
- MADRE - MADRES (MOTHER - 2 MOTHERS
The words ending in CONSONANT are normally very simple, because we only have to add "ES" at the end of the word... it doesn't matter if the gender is MALE or FEMALE
SINGULAR - PLURAL
- SABOR - SABORES (FLAVOR - FLAVORS)
- FAVOR - FAVORES (FAVOR - FAVORS)
- CORAZÓN - CORAZONES (HEART - HEARTS)
- DOLOR - DOLORES (PAIN)
- FRIJOL - FRIJOLES (BEAN - BEANS)