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Gender of Nouns: Part I Notes: 1. The written lesson is below. 2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left. A noun is a word used to denote a person, place, thing, or idea. Person: John, girl, dentist Place: garden, university, Venezuela Thing: book, car, tomato Idea: liberty, despair, intelligence

In Spanish, all nouns are either masculine or feminine. Masculine el chico boy el jardín garden el libro book el miedo la chica girl la universidad university la revista magazine la libertad Feminine

living creatures often have different names. Masculine man tiger aviator Feminine woman tigress aviatrix The following Spanish nouns all denote living creatures. el gato male cat la gata female cat el perro male dog la perra female dog el chico boy la chica girl el abuelo grandfather la abuela grandmother How are all of these masculine nouns alike? .fear liberty The idea that nouns have gender seems perfectly natural when the noun stands for a living creature. depending upon whether they are male or female. This is because in English.

"El" and "la" both mean "the. What do you notice about the last letter of these nouns? Masculine gato perro chico abuelo gata perra chica abuela Feminine . la) are called "definite articles. How are all of these feminine nouns alike? la gata la perra la chica la abuela Hint: look at both the beginning and the ending of each line." el chico (the boy) la chica (the girl) el perro (the male dog) la gata (the female cat) Note: These two words (el." You will learn more about them in a later lesson.el gato el perro el chico el abuelo Hint: look at both the beginning and the ending of each line.

the word for "dress" is a masculine word: el vestido Take another guess. Because many nouns end in letters other than o or a. One cannot predict the gender of a noun that stands for a non-living thing. since a dress is an article of clothing worn by females. It won't work! Take a guess. There are several reasons for this: • • • Because you cannot predict the gender of most nouns. Do not try to analyze the nature of the object. looking for some inherent masculinity or femininity. Do you think the Spanish word for "necktie" is masculine or feminine? You might expect it to be masculine. Notice the word usually! There are exceptions to these two rules and you will soon be learning them. Do you think the Spanish word for "dress" is masculine or feminine? You might expect it to be feminine. Nouns that end in -a are usually feminine. la). and not every noun that ends in -a is feminine. Actually. Actually. since a necktie is an article of clothing worn by males. the word for "necktie" is a feminine word: la corbata When you learn a new noun. . Because not every noun that ends in -o is masculine.Nouns that end in -o are usually masculine. you should also learn its definite article (el. Try to predict whether the Spanish words for the following things are masculine or feminine: Masculine or feminine? book house money window One cannot predict the gender of a noun. except in the case of living creatures.

-dad. -ción. -umbre are feminine. el profesor la profesora el doctor la doctora el señor la señora Some nouns that refer to people use the same form for both masculine and feminine. -tud. Gender of Nouns: Part II Notes: 1. 2. Masculine nouns that end in a consonant often have a corresponding feminine form that ends in -a. are to the left.• Because the definite article (el. el estudiante la estudiante el pianista la pianista el artista la artista Nouns that end in -sión. Links to quizzes. tests. These nouns indicate gender by the article (el or la). -tad. la) is your clue as to whether a noun is masculine or feminine. la televisión la decisión la conversación la habitación la ciudad la universidad la dificultad la libertad la actitud . The written lesson is below. etc.

Four of the nouns that end in -a are simply exceptions and must be memorized.la gratitud la certidumbre la muchedumbre Some nouns that end in -a are masculine. Notice that eight of the twelve nouns listed above end in -ma. such as la cama and la pluma. el problema el telegrama el programa el mapa el sistema el poema el día el tema el clima el idioma el sofá el planeta Many nouns that end in -ma are masculine. el telegrama el programa el problema el sistema el poema el idioma el clima el tema Note: A few nouns that end in -ma are feminine. el día el mapa el planeta el sofá .

Remember. • Masculine nouns that end in a consonant often have a corresponding feminine form that ends in -a. but they won't be covered until later. -umbre are feminine. are to the left. • Plural Forms of Nouns Notes: 1. libro: libros (libro + s) pluma: plumas (pluma + s) chico: chicos (chico + s) señora: señoras (señora + s) The definite articles (el. • A few nouns that end in -o are feminine You now know most of the rules for determining the gender of a noun. -tad. Definite articles are the subject of an upcoming lesson. • Some nouns that refer to people use the same form for both masculine and feminine. • Most nouns that end in -a are feminine. la). la mano la radio Review of the rules learned in lesson 1 and lesson 2." The definite articles will be covered in depth in the next lesson. There are just a few more things to know. -dad. Links to quizzes. la) also change in the plural form. They become "los" and "las. • Many nouns that end in -ma are masculine.A few nouns that end in -o are feminine. -ción. If a noun ends in a vowel. The written lesson is below. Many nouns that denote living things have both a masculine and a feminine form. learn it complete with its definite article (el. etc. tests. -tud. whenever you learn a new noun. el libro: los libros . 2. • Nouns that end in -sión. • Most nouns that end in -o are masculine. These nouns indicate gender by the article (el or la). make it plural by adding -s.

add -es and drop the written accent. Notice that it doesn't qualify for our rule which says that all nouns ending in -ción and sión are feminine. 2 perros + 6 perras = 8 perros (not perras) 1 gato + 8 gatas = 9 gatos (not gatas) . If a noun ends in -z. el borrador: los borradores (borrador + es) la universidad: las universidades (universidad + es) el profesor: los profesores (profesor + es) la ciudad: las ciudades (ciudad + es) If a noun ends in -ión.la pluma: las plumas el chico: los chicos la señora: las señoras If a noun ends in a consonant. the masculine plural is used. make it plural by adding -es. add -es and change the z to c. el lápiz: los lápices la voz: las voces el tapiz: los tapices la actriz: las actrices When the plural refers to two or more nouns of different genders. el avión: los aviones la conversación: las conversaciones la sección: las secciones la televisión: las televisiones Note: You may wonder why "avión" isn't feminine.

use the masculine. change "el" to "los". Give me a cookie. simply add -s." el abrelatas los abrelatas el paraguas los paraguas Let's review the rules for making nouns plural. For compound nouns. There are peanut butter cookies. If a noun ends in ión. If the plural refers to a mixed group. The written lesson is below. etc. drop the written accent before adding -es. (Example: abre + latas = abrelatas / open + cans = can opener) These compound nouns are always masculine. Definite and Indefinite Articles: Part I Notes: 1. sugar cookies. If a noun ends in a consonant. gingerbread cookies. Links to quizzes. tests. simply add -es. ." that is. • • • • • • If a noun ends in a vowel. 2. please. If a noun ends in a -z.A few nouns are "compound nouns. are to the left. and the plural is formed by changing the "el" to "los. and one chocolate chip cookie. change the z to c before adding -es. they are formed by combining two words into one. The difference between definite articles and indefinite articles can be observed in the following two sentences: Give me the chocolate chip cookie. Imagine a plate full of cookies.

The first sentence speaks of a particular (or definite) cookie: Give me the chocolate chip cookie. please. . el gato the male cat los gatos the male cats la gata the female cat las gatas the female cats Note: The masculine plural definite and indefinite articles (los. "los gatos" could refer to a group of 10 male cats. singular or plural. or it could refer to a group of 9 female cats and one male cat. the definite article has 4 forms. feminine. the cookie a cookie In English. unos) are also used to indicate a group of mixed sex. The difference between the definite and indefinite articles is the difference between talking about a specific cookie. The second sentence speaks of any of a number of cookies (or an indefinite cookie): Give me a cookie. Thus. the cookie the cookies In Spanish. the definite article is the word "the" regardless of whether the noun it introduces is singular or plural. or any old cookie at all. depending on whether the noun is masculine.

feminine. the masculine plural article is used. the indefinite article is the word "a. Thus. singular or plural." or "some. depending on whether the noun is masculine.The 4 forms of the definite article are: el masculine singular la feminine singular los masculine plural las feminine plural In English." "an. "unos gatos" could refer to a group of 10 male cats. or it could refer to a group of 9 female cats and one male cat. the indefinite article has 4 forms." a cookie an apple some books In Spanish. The 4 forms of the indefinite article are: un masculine singular una feminine singular unos masculine plural . as long as the group of creatures has at least one male member. un gato a male cat unos gatos some male cats una gata a female cat unas gatas some female cats Note: Remember.

" un libro one book. unas feminine plural Each of the following has a different meaning: el gato the male cat los gatos the male cats (or a mixed group) la gata the female cat las gatas the female cats un gato a male cat unos gatos some male cats (or a mixed group) una gata a female cat unas gatas some female cats "Un" and "una" can mean "one. an apple . una feminine singular los.unas feminine plural Here are the definite and indefinite articles together: el. unos masculine plural las." "a." or "an. a book una pluma one pen. a pen una manzana one apple. un masculine singular la.

In standard English. In English. tests. A verb is an action word. are to the left.this usage is not considered to be standard English. run sit eat sink swim study The main form of a verb is called the infinitive." to run to sit to eat to sink to swim to study The infinitive is the pure form of a verb.Subject Pronouns Notes: 1. infinitives include the word "to. That is." Regarding the form "you-all" -. The written lesson is below. the same word is used for both the singular you and the plural you. 2. etc. each of the following is correct: . The infinitive is like a lump of clay that can be molded to match the subject of the sentence it is used in: I speak you speak he/she speaks we speak you-all* speak they speak Note: The above forms are called conjugations of the infinitive "to speak. Links to quizzes.

There are two ways the English word "you" can be expressed in Spanish: usted you tú you . The words "I" "you" "he" "she" "we" "you-all" and "they" are called subject pronouns. You (kids) have soccer practice at four. Look more closely at the English word "you.You have a tail light out. "you" refers to the singular "ma'am." In the second sentence. Here's a list of the English subject pronouns and their Spanish equivalents: yo I usted you él he ella she nosotros we ustedes you-all ellos they Spanish subject pronouns are both similar to and different from their English counterparts. Let's examine some of the differences. we will employ the non-standard English usage "you-all" to indicate you (plural). ma'am." To avoid confusion between you (singular) and you (plural). Spanish has corresponding subject pronouns. "you" refers to the plural "kids." But there is also a second way it can be translated." You have just seen that this can be translated into Spanish as "usted. This will be very beneficial to y'all. In the first sentence. particularly at the beginning of your studies.

"ustedes" is generally used in both formal and informal situations to refer to "youall." "Usted" is more formal and is generally used to express respect." there are two choices in Spanish: ustedes you-all formal vosotros you-all familiar Once again. the vosotros form is used primarily in Spain. the difference lies in the degree of formality conveyed by the speaker." Speaking to a group of children (in Spain): vosotros Speaking to a group of children (in Latin America): ustedes Speaking to a group of strangers (in Spain): ustedes Speaking to a group of strangers (in Latin America): ustedes Note: usted can be abbreviated Ud. relatives. . ustedes can be abbreviated Uds. or Vd. .Spanish has a formal and an informal form of the word "you. or when addressing a child. "Tú" is more familiar and is used among friends. or Vds. Speaking to your boss: usted Speaking to your daughter: tú Speaking to your teacher: usted Speaking to your friend: tú usted = you formal tú = you informal (familiar) This same distinction with regard to degree of formality occurs in the plural form as well. coworkers. When referring to "you-all. However. Throughout Latin America.

If the group contains only females. Finally. don't get confused over the difference between talking toa group or talking about a group. in Spanish. not Latin America. there are two ways to say "we": nosotros we (masculine or mixed group) nosotras we (feminine) This same idea applies to the English word "they": ellos they (masculine or mixed group) ellas they (feminine) This same idea also applies to the "vosotros" form: vosotros you-all familiar (masculine or mixed group) vosotras you-all familiar (feminine) Note: These forms are used primarily in Spain. while standing before the class: "You-all need to study your Spanish. First." The teacher is talking to the Spanish students and about the French students. You-all can practice Spanish in Spain. Talking to a group. which could have been made by your Spanish teacher. use "you-all": . the word "nosotras" is used." This means "we" in the sense of a group containing at least one male. They can practice French in France. Those students in the other class don't need to study Spanish.In many ways. Spanish is more gender-specific than English. So. look at the word "nosotros. Consider the following statement. They are studying French. We find evidence of this in the subject pronouns.

he ella .you (formal) Plural nosotros we (masculine or mixed gender) nosotras we (feminine) vosotros you-all (familiar. Spain.she usted . use "they": ellos ellas Here's the complete list of Spanish subject pronouns: Singular yo . masculine or mixed gender) vosotras you-all (familiar. Spain.I tú .ustedes vosotros vosotras Talking about a group.you (familiar) él . formal and familiar in Latin America) . feminine) ellos they (masculine or mixed gender) ellas they (feminine) ustedes you-all (formal in Spain.

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