Gender and Articles

El género y los Artículos / Gender and Articles

In Spanish, nouns have genders (male/female). When speaking Spanish, you need to know this to be able to communicate correctly. The "articles," the words "the" and "a," need to have gender and number (indicate singular or plural), and must agree properly with the noun of the sentence.

Definite article:

"the" =  el, los, la, las

Indefinite article: 

"a" or "some" =  un, unos, una, unas

Most of the time, we can deduce the gender of a word by looking at the ending of the noun.

Masculine nouns

Usually end in one of the following ways: -o, -e, -l, -n, -r. These nouns require a masculine article (el, los, un, unos).

Feminine nouns 

Usually end in one of the following ways: -a, -dad, -tad, -ión, -ud, -umbre. These nouns require a feminine article (la, las, una, unas).

Look at the following examples:

  • la cabeza (the head)
  • las orejas (the ears)
  • la actitud (the attitude)
  • una inyección (an injection)
  • unas gotas (some drops)
  • la articulación (the joint)
  • la cabeza (the head)
  • el hígado (the liver)
  • los labios (the lips)
  • un ojo (an eye)
  • el sol (the sun)
  • el pulgar (the thumb)
  • el mentón (the chin)
  • los pulmónes (the lungs)

Now, look at these examples:

  • unos días (a few days)
  • la frente (the forehead or brow)

Wait a minute! The word "día" ends in "a" and the word "frente" ends in "e" What's going on? Traditionally, there are many assigned articles that do not parallel the noun's ending, and these exceptions just need to be learned and reinforced by repetition. 

Ejemplos de articulos