2Don’t Forget: A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea In Spanish, all nouns are either masculine or feminine.Masculine Nouns Feminine Nounsel libro la puertael escritorio la camael colegio la tarea
3English vs. SpanishThe idea that nouns have gender seems perfectly natural when the noun stands for a living creature. This is because in English, living creatures often have different names depending on whether they are male or female.Masculine Feminineboy girlgrandfather grandmothertiger tigressuncle aunt
4English vs. Spanish (cont.) Certain nouns that denote living things have both a masculine and feminine form in Spanish.Masculine Feminineel gato---- male cat la gata---- female catel abuelo--- grandfather la abuela--- grandmotherel padre-- father la madre--- motherel chico--- boy la chica--- girl
5How are these masculine nouns alike? el gatoel abueloel cuadernoel libroel cocheel armarioWhat does “el” mean?
6How are these feminine nouns alike? la abuelala puertala calculadorala ventanala tareala chicaWhat does “la” mean?
7Masculine vs. Feminine Nouns that end in –o are usually masculine. Nouns that end in –a are usually feminine.Notice the word “usually.”There are exceptions to these two rules!
8Don’t try this at home… or ever! You can’t predict the gender of a noun, except in the case of living creatures.Do not try to analyze the nature of an object to look for masculine or feminine qualities!IT WON’T WORK!Dress is a masculine word in Spanish---el vestidoNecktie is a feminine word in Spanish---la corbata
9But how can I tell if a noun is masculine or feminine? When you learn a new noun, you MUST memorize its definite article (el or la).
10But whyyyyyy? (said in a really whiny tone) Because you cannot predict the gender of most nouns.Because not every noun that ends in an –o is masculine, and not every noun that ends in an –a is feminine.Because many nouns end in letters other than –a and –o.Because the definite article is your clue as to whether a noun is masculine or feminine.
11But why should I care? Good question! As you will see in upcoming lessons, Spanish grammar places a great deal of emphasis on gender.