Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sustantivos en español – Nouns in Spanish

  • A noun is a word used to identify people, animals, places, things, or ideas.
  • Unlike English, all Spanish nouns, even those that refer to nonliving things, have gender. They are considered either masculine or feminine.
  • As in English, nouns in Spanish also have number, meaning that they are either singular or plural.

Nouns that refer to living things

Masculine Nouns

el hombre the man
ending in –o
el chico the boy
el pasajero the (male) passenger
ending in –or     
el conductor the (male) driver
el profesor the (male) professor
ending in –ista     
el turista the (male) tourist
el dentista the (male) dentist

Feminine Nouns

la mujer the woman
ending in –a     
la chica the girl
la pasajera the (female) passenger
ending in –ora     
la conductora the (female) driver
la profesora the (female) professor
ending in –ista     
la turista the (female) tourist
la dentista the (female) dentist
  • Nouns that refer to males, like el hombre, are generally masculine.
  • Nouns that refer to females, like la mujer, are generally feminine.
  • Many nouns that refer to male beings end in
    –o or –or.
  • Their corresponding feminine forms end in
    –a and –ora, respectively.

Either/Or Nouns

  • The masculine and feminine forms of nouns that end in –ista, like turista, are the same, so gender is indicated by the article el (masculine) or la (feminine).
  • Some other nouns have identical masculine and feminine forms.
el joven 
la joven 
the youth; the young man
the youth; the young woman
el estudiante 
la estudiante 
the (male) student
the (female) student

Nouns that refer to nonliving things

Masculine Nouns

ending in –o
el cuaderno the notebook
el diario the diary
el diccionario the dictionary
el número the number
ending in –ma     
el problema the problem
el programa the program
ending in –s
                    el autobús the bus

el país the country

Feminine Nouns

ending in –a
la cosa the thing
la escuela the school
la grabadora the tape recorder
la palabra the word
ending in –ción     
la lección the lesson
la conversación the conversation
ending in –dad
la nacionalidad the nationality
la comunidad the community
  • Certain noun endings are strongly associated with a specific gender, so you can use them to determine if a noun is masculine or feminine.
  • Because the gender of nouns that refer to non-living things cannot be determined by foolproof rules, you should memorize the gender of each noun you learn
  • It is helpful to memorize each noun with its corresponding article, el for masculine and la for feminine.
  • Another reason to memorize the gender of every noun is that there are common exceptions to the rules of gender.
    Masculine noun ending in –a
    el mapa (map)
    Feminine noun ending in –o
    la mano (hand)

Plural of nouns

Nouns that end in a vowel form the plural by adding –s.

el chico ® los chicos
el diario ® los diarios
la palabra ® las palabras
el problema ® los problemas

Nouns that end in a consonant add –es.

el país ® los países
el profesor ® los profesores

Nouns that end in –z change the –z to –c, then add –es.

el lápiz ® los lápices 
  • You use the masculine plural form of the noun to refer to a group that includes both males and females.
    1 pasajero + 2 pasajeras = 3 pasajeros
    2 chicos + 2 chicas = 4 chicos
  • When a singular noun has an accent mark on the last syllable, the accent is dropped from the plural form.
    la lección à las lecciones
    el autobús à los autobuses

Spanish articles

  • As you know, English often uses definite articles (the) and indefinite articles (a, an) before nouns.
  • Spanish also has definite and indefinite articles.
  • Unlike English, Spanish articles vary in form because they agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.  

Definite articles

  • Spanish has four forms that are equivalent to the English definite article the. You use definite articles to refer to specific nouns.
la computadora
el diccionario
the computer
the dictionary
las computadoras
los diccionarios
the computers
the dictionaries

Indefinite articles

Spanish has four forms that are equivalent to the English indefinite article, which according to context may mean a, an, or some. You use indefinite articles to refer to unspecified persons or things.

una fotografía
un pasajero
a (one) photograph
a (one) passenger 
unas fotografías
unos pasajeros
some photographs
some passengers 


Provide a definite article for each noun in the first column and an indefinite article for each noun in the second column.
¿el, la, los o las? ¿un, una, unos o unas? 
_____ chico  _____ autobús  
_____ chica  _____ escuela  
_____ maleta  _____ computadora  
_____ cuadernos  _____ hombre  
_____ lápiz  _____ señoras  
_____ mujeres  _____ lápices  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012