- 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
el hombre the manending in –o
el chico the boy
el pasajero the (male) passengerending in –or
el conductor the (male) driver
el profesor the (male) professorending in –ista
el turista the (male) tourist
el dentista the (male) dentist
la mujer the womanending in –a
la chica the girl
la pasajera the (female) passengerending in –ora
la conductora the (female) driver
la profesora the (female) professorending 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.
- 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.
the youth; the young man
the youth; the young woman
the (male) student
the (female) student
Nouns that refer to nonliving things
Masculine Nounsending in –o
el cuaderno the notebook
el diario the diary
el diccionario the dictionary
el número the numberending in –ma
el problema the problem
el programa the programending in –s
el autobús the bus
el país the country
Feminine Nounsending in –a
la cosa the thing
la escuela the school
la grabadora the tape recorder
la palabra the wordending in –ción
la lección the lesson
la conversación the conversationending 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 –ael mapa (map)Feminine noun ending in –ola 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
- 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.
- Spanish has four forms that are equivalent to the English definite article the. You use definite articles to refer to specific nouns.
Indefinite articlesSpanish 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.
a (one) photograph
a (one) passenger
¡HÁZLO!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|