Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to determine Noun gender in Spanish

 The first lesson you have to learn if you want to speak grammatically correct Spanish is to understand the concept of noun gender. In Spanish, nouns are either masculine or feminine.

  In this post, I am going to highlight some rules that used to determine a noun's gender and make use of (definite and indefinite articles) post that was posted early in this blog.

In Spanish, the article must agree with noun’s count and gender.

To determining noun’s gender in Spanish there are some rules of thumbs that you can rely on as a beginner:

Rule 1:
Typically, if the noun ends in 'o', it is masculine; if it ends in 'a', it is feminine.

Following are some examples:

English Word
Spanish Meaning
Weather
Tiempo ( Masculine )
Table
Mesa ( Feminine )
Chair
Silla ( Feminine )
Notebook
Cuaderno ( Masculine )
Book
Libro ( Masculine )

Rule 2:
For a noun that refer to people, if it ends in 'ista' or 'e', it is the article that determines the gender of the noun, not the noun itself.

That means, some nouns can be either masculine or feminine; such nouns generally ends in ‘ista’ or ‘e’.
The above rule applies the following:
-   If it is a feminine article in a front of the noun, then the gender of the noun is feminine.
-   If it is a masculine article in a front of a noun, then the gender of the noun is masculine.

For example, the word artist means ‘artista’ in Spanish; this word ends in ‘ista’, by applying the second rule:
   If we say el artista then it is masculine.
   If we say la artista then it is feminine.

As you can see from the above example, if the noun ends with ‘ista’, it is the article that determines the gender of the following noun, not the noun itself as in rule number 1.

The above rule is applicable for nouns ends with ‘e’ too, for example

El studiente => male student
La studiente => female student

El paciente => male patient
La paciente => female patient

One last rule about definite and indefinite articles:
If you're talking TO a person, do NOT use the definite article, for example, if you are talking about Mr Gonzales, you should say:

El Señor Gonzales
But if you are talking to Mr. Gonzales, you should say:
Señor Gonzales

Another example:
If you are talking to Mrs Ramirez you should say:
Señorita, que paso?

On the other hand, if you are talking about Mrs Ramirez , you should say:
La Señorita Ramirez es dentist

That it is, when you are talking about a person, the definite article is required, on the other hand, when you are talking with a person, no articles required.

Let’s summarize the above two rules:
·          If you're talking TO a person, do NOT use the definite article

·          If you're talking ABOUT a person, the definite article is required.