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Learning Spanish - 2b

Learning Spanish - 2b

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Published by Chima C. Ugwuegbu
Gender of Nouns
In Spanish all nouns have gender. Gender means sex, male or female. All nouns in Spanish are referred to as being masculine or feminine, even words that do not refer to people. That does not mean that a pencil is a man or a chair is a woman. What determines gender is spelling, although there are a few exceptions. When you studied the words on the previous pages, you may have noticed that most nouns end in -a , -o, -l, -n, or a few combinations of letters such as -ión. Gender is d
Gender of Nouns
In Spanish all nouns have gender. Gender means sex, male or female. All nouns in Spanish are referred to as being masculine or feminine, even words that do not refer to people. That does not mean that a pencil is a man or a chair is a woman. What determines gender is spelling, although there are a few exceptions. When you studied the words on the previous pages, you may have noticed that most nouns end in -a , -o, -l, -n, or a few combinations of letters such as -ión. Gender is d

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Published by: Chima C. Ugwuegbu on Aug 30, 2010
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Unit 2: Using Spanish in Your Community131
Gender of Nouns
In Spanish all nouns have
 gender
. Gender means sex, male or female. Allnouns in Spanish are referred to as being
masculine
or
 feminine
 , even wordsthat do not refer to people. That does not mean that a pencil is a man or achair is a woman. What determines gender is spelling, although there area few exceptions. When you studied the words on the previous pages, youmay have noticed that most nouns end in
-a , -o, -l, -n
 , or a few combinations of letterssuch as
-ión
. Gender is determined by how anoun
ends
in Spanish. It is important to knowthe gender of nouns because other words in thesentence will depend on that gender for theirspelling, as you will see later.While there are some exceptions, there is a way to know gender withaccuracy. For the most part, nouns that end in these letters are usually
masculine
:
masculineL O N E R S MA
Examples
of masculine:papel, cuaderno, tiburón (
shark 
), pupitre, profesor, sacapuntas,and poema (
 poem
)
Nouns that end in the following letters are usually
 
 feminine
:
feminineD IÓN Z A
Examples
of feminine:ciudad (
city 
), nación (
nation
), luz (
light 
), and puerta
There are some exceptions to this rule. There are only a few, so it is easy tolearn them. Remember, they take the opposite gender of what you maythink.mapa is masculinefoto is femininelápiz is masculinemoto is feminine
masculine feminine
or 
 
132Unit 2: Using Spanish in Your Community
El, la, los, y las (The)—Definite Articles
There are four words for the word
the
in Spanish. These words are called
definite articles
. For example, if I said, “I read
the
book,”
the
is a definitearticle because
the
refers to a particular book. The definite article you usein Spanish depends on two things:1.whether the noun is masculine or feminine2.whether the noun is singular or plural.Here are some
masculine nouns
that are
singular
:
el
cuaderno
el
libro
el
alumno
el
lápiz
el
sacapuntas
el
profesor
el
estanteAs you can see, the Spanish word
el
means
the
and is used only in front of a noun that is masculine and singular. When these
masculine words
become
 plural
 , you must make the word
the
plural as well. The way to do that is tochange the word
el
to the word
los
.Here are the same nouns in the
 plural
:
los
cuadernos
los
libros
los
alumnos
los
lápices
los
sacapuntas
los
profesores
los
estantes
 
Unit 2: Using Spanish in Your Community133
Now let’s take a look at the
 feminine nouns
. The Spanish word
la
is used infront of a feminine noun that is
singular
to mean
the
. Look at thesefeminine nouns:
la
profesora
la
silla
la
puerta
la
página
la
regla
la
ventana
la
estudianteWhen these nouns are plural, the word
la
is changed to
las
and becomesplural also.Compare these
 feminine nouns
that are
 plural
with the ones above that aresingular:
las
profesoras
las
sillas
las
puertas
las
páginas
las
reglas
las
ventanas
las
estudiantes

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