Presentation on theme: "Gender In this presentation, we will look at two very important concepts in Spanish: gender and agreement."— Presentation transcript:
Gender In this presentation, we will look at two very important concepts in Spanish: gender and agreement.
Gender Look at these English words and guess whether they refer to male or female: Bull Hen Husband Niece Cousin Calculator Love
Gender Some are obvious: Bull (m.) Hen (f.) Husband (m.) Niece (f.) Others are unknown: Cousin (m. or f.) While others are neither (neuter): Calculator, love
Gender In English, nouns and pronouns fall into three grammatical groups: Masculine: man, husband, rooster, he Feminine: woman, wife, hen, she Neuter: child, bird, it
Gender In Spanish, all nouns fall into just two categories: Masculine (masculino) Feminine (feminino) There is no neuter class in which to place nouns such as table and chair.
So what does this mean? You should start thinking about Spanish nouns as being either el words or la words. Most books will refer to these as masculine (el words) or feminine (la words). Think of these as names of categories, not descriptions of the words themselves.
Lets take a look! Here are some nouns with their corresponding definite article (the): el niño (the boy) la niña (the girl) el profesor (the professor) la profesora (the professor) el amigo (the friend) la amiga (the friend)
Lets reorganize these words. Put all of the el words together: el niño el profesor el amigo And all the la words together: la niña la profesora la amiga
Thats easy! Masculine nouns use the definite article el while feminine nouns use la. Lets look at a few more: La mesa (the table) El libro (the book) La pluma (the pen) El teléfono (the phone)
Just a minute!! Words that are neuter in English are either masculine or feminine in Spanish. This does not mean that these words have masculine or feminine characteristics! It is just a purely grammatical classification.
Lets practice! Do you think these nouns are masculine (el) or feminine (la)? Dont worry about the meanings for now. ___ hermano ___ mamá ___ trabajo ___ historia ___ planta ___ taco
How did you do? el hermano la mamá el trabajo la historia la planta el taco Generally speaking, nouns that end in –o are masculine, while those that end in –a are feminine. There are exceptions, but we will worry about them on a case-by-case basis.
Here are some different ones: la ciudad la universidad la religión la división el actor el doctor el español el túnel
Do you see the pattern? Not all Spanish nouns end in –o and –a, but they still must be either masculine or feminine. Nouns that end in –ión are usually feminine. Nouns that end in –dad are always feminine. Nouns that end in –l and –r are usually masculine.
What about…? Nouns that end in –e can be either masculine or feminine: la clase; el presidente Some nouns can be both, depending on the meaning: el presidente (a man) la presidente (a woman)
Whats the bottom line? Learn every Spanish noun with its article. It will pay off soon, because you will be able to classify new nouns as you see the patterns develop.
Agreement Look at these sentences (alto = tall; guapo = good- looking): El niño es alto y guapo. La niña es alta y guapa. Words that describe niño also end in –o: alto, guapo Words that describe niña also end in –a: alta, guapa
Whats going on here? Other words in the sentence also change to agree (match the form of the noun they describe). Heres another one: El profesor es bajo, anciano, y gordo. How would you change this sentence to talk about a woman professor?
Agreement La profesora es baja, anciana, y gorda. What if there is more than one male teacher?
Agreement Los profesores son bajos, ancianos, y gordos. What is happening?? Los > the plural Profesores > plural Son > are Bajos, ancianos, gordos > adjectives match the ending of the nouns, too. This doesnt happen in English (except for this/these and that/those). But its an important feature in Spanish!
Lets try one! Put the correct ending on each word. La chica es bonit__ y delgad__. Mi auto es antigu__ y fe__.
The envelope, please! La chica es bonita y delgada. Mi auto es antiguo y feo. Now make these sentences plural!
Your final answer… Las chicas son bonitas y delgadas. Mis autos son antiguos y feos. How about this sentence in the plural? El estudiante es inteligente y trabajador.
How did you do? Los estudiantes son inteligentes y trabajadores. Adjectives that end in –e can be used with either masculine or feminine nouns. To make them plural, just add –s. Adjectives that end in –r add –es for plural.
Thats enough for now! This is a very tricky concept for learners of Spanish, mainly because it is so different from English. However, it is extremely important and requires a lot of concentration on your part! Keep your eyes and ears open for gender and agreement, and soon the patterns will become clearer.