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Word Gender. Craig Thomas B.A. What is a Noun?. 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. Male/Female Words?. Living Beings.

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Word gender

Word Gender

Craig Thomas B.A.

What is a noun
What is a Noun?

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

Living beings
Living Beings

The 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 upon whether they are male or female.

Living beings spanish
Living Beings (Spanish)

  • The following Spanish nouns all denote living creatures.

  • el perro

    • male dog

  • la perra

    • female dog

  • Boy

    • El chico

  • Girl

    • la chica

What do we notice
What do we notice?



la gata

la perra

la chica

la abuela

  • el gato

  • el perro

  • el chico

  • el abuelo

El la
El & La

  • El and La both mean “The” in Spanish!

  • elchico (the boy)

  • lachica (the girl)

  • elperro (the male dog)

  • lagata (the female cat)

Masculine or feminine
Masculine or Feminine?

  • Libro (book)

  • Escritorio(Desk)

  • Mesa(Table)

  • Lampara(Lamp)

  • Ventana (Window)

  • Suelo (Floor)

  • Vestido (Dress)

Changing gender changing endings
Changing Gender/Changing Endings



Some nouns that refer to people use the same form for both masculine and feminine. These nouns indicate gender by the article (el or la).

el estudiantela estudiante

el pianistala pianista

el artistala artista

Masculine nouns that end in a consonant often have a corresponding feminine form that ends in -a.

  • el profesorla profesora

  • el doctorla doctora

  • el señorla señora

More endings
More Endings!

Nounsthatend in -sión, -ción, -dad, -tad, -tud, -umbre are feminine.

  • la televisión

  • la decisión

  • la conversación

  • la habitación

  • la ciudad

  • la universidad

la dificultad

la libertad

la actitud

la gratitud

la certidumbre

la muchedumbre

Why should we learn articles
Why should we learn articles?

  • When you learn a new noun, you should also learn its definite article (el, la). There are several reasons for this:

  • Because you cannot predict the gender of most nouns.

  • Because not every noun that ends in -o is masculine, and not every noun that ends in -a is feminine.

  • Because many nouns end in letters other than o or a.

  • Because the definite article (el, la) is your clue as to whether a noun is masculine or feminine.