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We use nouns to describe people, animals, things, food, ideas, games… and of course also very concrete people, places, etc.


El perro –  the dog
El médico –  the doctor
La bebida –  the drink
La alegría – the happines
Franco y Susana – Franco and Susana
Las vacaciones – the vacations
Venezuela –  Venezuela
Galápagos –  Galapagos

Musculine or feminine – Gender

In Spanish, nouns are either masculine or feminine; material nouns (the neuter) are unknown in the Spanish language. Whether a noun is masculine or feminine can often be inferred from its meaning in the following groups:

In humans, the sex of the word corresponds to that of the designated person.

El padre –  the father
La madre –  the mother
El yerno –  the son-in-law
La nuera –  the daughter-in-law
El chico –  the boy
La chica –  the girl
El niño –  the child (young boy)
La niña –  the child (young girl)

In animals we find two forms, i.e. one for each sex

El perro – la perrathe dog – the female dog
El gato – la gatathe male cat – the cat

or a common word for both of them:

la mariposa – the butterfly
el ratón –  the mouse

Frequently, however, one can also recognize with more or less great certainty by the ending whether a word is masculine or feminine:

Words ending in -o are mostly masculine.

El libro –  the book
El armario – the wardrobe

but there are some exceptions
la foto(grafía) – the photo
la moto(cicleta) – the motorcycle
la mano –  the hand
la radio –  the radio

Other typical masculine endings are -or, -aje, -ismo or -m(i)ento

El color –  the colour
El coraje –  the courage
El capitalismo – the capitalism
El documento – the document
El ayuntamiento – the town hall

La flor –  the flower
La labor –  the work

Words ending in -a , are generally feminine

La ventana –  the window
La comida –  the food

El día –  the day
El clima –  the climate

The endings -dad, -ción, -sión, -tud or -ez are feminine without exception.

La comunidad – the community
La reacción – the reaction
La pensión – the pension
La actitud – the attitude
La timidezthe timidity

Professional or personal designations ending in -ista or -ante have the same form for both sexes. This is also the case for some nouns on -(i)ente.

El periodista – la periodistathe journalist – the female journalist
El comerciante – la comerciantethe businessman – the businesswoman
El paciente – la pacientethe patient – the female patient