Gender of Spanish Nouns

Nouns are words that are used to identify a person, place, thing or idea. Examples of nouns include "girl" (person), "Venezuela" (place), "house" (thing), and "freedom" (idea). In Spanish, nouns are either masculine or feminine. The following are examples of masculine and feminine nouns in Spanish. Listen to each noun, then repeat it out loud.

English
Spanish
the boy
el chico
the girl
la chica
the child (boy)
el niño
the child (girl)
la niña
the man
el hombre
the woman
la mujer
the book
el libro
the university
la universidad
the car
el coche
the magazine
la revista
the table
la mesa
the fear
el miedo


Nouns in Spanish are masculine or feminine to denote whether a living creature is male or female. You'll notice that masculine nouns end in "o" and feminine nouns end in "a". The English word "the" in Spanish also has a masculine form "el" as well as a feminine form "la". "el" and "la" are definite articles and usually proceed nouns. Definite articles in Spanish are both masculine and feminine to match the nouns they preceed. Click on each noun below, then repeat it out loud.

The cat (male)
el gato
The cat (female)
la gata
the girl
la chica
the boy
el chico
the grandfather
el abuelo
the grandmother
la abuela


Nouns that do not denote living creatures are also masculine or feminine. Spanish nouns that end in -o are typically masculine, and nouns that end in -a are usually feminine. However, this isn't always the case. In many cases, you'll simply have to memorize the gender of a noun. Review the popular Spanish nouns below and pay attention to whether they're masculine or feminine. Listen to each noun, then repeat it out loud.

the book
el libro
the house
la casa
the money
el dinero
the window
la ventana
the dress
el vestido
the tie
la corbata


Some nouns have both a masculine and feminine form. Masculine nouns that end in a consonant often have a feminine form that ends in -a. Consider the following examples.

the doctor (male)
el doctor
the doctor (female)
la doctora
the professor (male)
el profesor
the professor (female)
la profesora
Mr
el señor
Mrs
la señora


Some nouns in Spanish that refer to people are both masculine and feminine (without ending in -o or -a). The article (el or la) used for the noun indicates its gender. Consider the following examples.

the artist (male)
el artista
the artist (female)
la artista
the student (male)
el estudiante
the student (female)
la estudiante


Spanish nouns that end in -ción, -sión, -dad, -tad, -tud, -umbre are feminine. Consider the following examples.

the television
la televisión
the city
la ciudad
the attitude
la actitud
the certainty
la certidumbre


Some Spanish nouns that end in -a are masculine. Consider the following examples.

the poem
el poema
the day
ela
the problem
el problema
the program
el programa
the map
el mapa


Some Spanish nouns that end in -o are feminine. Consider the following examples.

the radio
la radio
the hand
la mano