Nouns

Spanish nouns are the building blocks for our world, and as a result, for our language. You can hardly speak a sentence without putting a noun in it somewhere, since the word for any thing, place or idea is a noun. So, nouns are a perfect place to start learning Spanish!
In English, we treat all of our nouns the same. They can be singular or plural, of course, but unlike many other languages, our nouns have no gender.

 In Spanish, on the other hand, nouns can be singular or plural and masculine or feminine.

GENDER

The first question you may be wondering about is if there’s a way to know which nouns are going to be masculine or feminine. Is there any rule behind it, or do you just have to remember every word individually? Alas, there is no rule—but there almost is. Because generally speaking, masculine nouns end in o and feminine nouns end in a.
So, you can’t know ahead of time that the word for, say, “magazine” is going to be masculine or feminine. But once you learn the word, you’ll know: “magazine” is revista, and since it ends in an a, it’s feminine.

Let’s look at a few standard examples:

Feminine Nouns:


casa          house
mesa         table
silla           chair
pluma       pen

*Words that end in ion are also usually feminine. For example:

canción       song
operación   operation

Masculine Nouns:


libro           book
teléfono    telephone
trabajo      work
auto           car

There are some exceptions to these rules, but they are few and far between. Here’s just a few of the most common ones:

el día           day
el agua        water
la mano      hand
la foto         photo (foto is actually a shortened version of la fotografía, which is why it’s feminine)

PLURAL NOUNS

Making nouns plural in Spanish is just as easy as doing it in English: add “s” if the word ends in a vowel, or “es” if the word ends in a consonant.

For example:

libro    –>   libros
mesa   –>   mesas
papel   –>   papeles

Comments are closed.