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Using Nouns In Spanish

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Infographics of Using Nouns In Spanish

Using Nouns In Spanish

What is a Noun In Spanish?

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Nouns in the Spanish language are exactly the same as in the English language. They’re used to name living things, objects, ideas, abstract concepts and things. However, in the Spanish language there are many differences that require extra effort to be learnt.

  • La mesa =The table (feminine)

  • El abogado =The lawyer (masculine)

  • la =Feminine Noun

  • una =Feminine Noun

Gender of Nouns in Spanish

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In the Spanish language nouns have gender. They can be masculine or feminine. Every single noun no matter its category has a gender. Neutral gender doesn’t exist in the Spanish language as in the English language.

Gender is very important since the adjectives, articles, pronouns and quantifiers that accompany the noun are also affected by gender. All of these words that accompany the noun need to have the same gender. This is called concordancia or agreement. You can simply say La casa bonita which means The pretty house. First, as you can see, in the Spanish language the adjective goes after the noun. Secondly, all three words end in the letter –a which marks the feminine gender. Another example is El gato malo or The bad cat. The –o ending implies it’s masculine. In some cases, you can see a noun’s gender in its ending.


La mesaThe table (feminine)
El abogadoThe lawyer (masculine)
La puertaThe door (feminine)
El loroThe parrot (masculine)
La esperanzaThe hope (feminine)
El arteThe art (masculine)
La escuelaThe school (feminine)
La pacienciaThe patience (feminine)

  • El loro =The parrot (masculine)

  • La esperanza =The hope (feminine)

  • El arte =The art (masculine)

  • La escuela =The school (feminine)

Types of Nouns in Spanish Language

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Common nouns refer to people, animals or things and they’re written in lowercase.

When talking about people, nouns change according to gender. The same happens with the article that goes before them. In the case of masculine and singular nouns, they’re preceded by a masculine article El. In the case of feminine and singular nouns, they’re preceded by a feminine article La. La and El are translated as The.

Some nouns don’t end neither in –a nor in –o. In those cases, so as to know if the speaker is making reference to a man or woman the article will help you to figure out the gender. In some others, the –a or –o ending doesn’t follow the male and female rule. It means the same word is used for both genders.

There are a few exceptions to the rule, so it’s important to learn articles and gender together with nouns.

El hermanoThe brother
La hermanaThe sister
El camareroThe waiter
La mesaThe table
El sombreroThe hat
El estudianteThe student (masculine)
La cantanteThe singer (feminine)
La solista / El solistaThe soloist
La fotoThe photo


  • El hermano  =The brother

  • La hermana =The sister

  • El camarero =The waiter

  • La mesa =The table

  • El sombrero =The hat

  • El estudiante =The student (masculine)

When referring to Animal Gender in Spanish

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When referring to animals, in the Spanish language there are sometimes two separate words depending on the sex of the animal. In some others, the –a and –o rule is applied. In some other cases, animals’ sex doesn’t matter and the same gender is used for both.

El toroThe bull
La vacaThe cow
El terneroThe calf
La terneraThe calf
El gatoThe cat
La gataThe cat
El gansoThe goose
La gansaThe goose
EL/La hámsterThe hamster
El/La sapoThe toad
La víboraThe snake


  • El toro =The bull

  • La vaca =The cow

  • El ternero =The calf

  • La ternera =The calf

  • El gato =The cat

  • La gata =The cat

  • El ganso =The goose

  • La gansa =The goose

Masculine or Feminine Noun of Things

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In the case of things and ideas there is no way to know whether they’re masculine or feminine. It’s a matter of acquiring the difference in the learning process. However, there are certain word endings that may help you out to know if they’re masculine or feminine.

The –o ending makes reference to masculine nouns. In the case of languages, days of the week and months of the year are also considered to be masculine gender.

El libroThe book
El colectivoThe bus
El barcoThe boat
El martesOn Tuesday
El sábadoOn Saturday
El EspañolThe Spanish language
El InglésThe English language
El octubreIn October


  • El libro =The book

  • El colectivo =The bus

  • El barco =The boat

  • El martes =On Tuesday

  • El sábado =On Saturday

  • El Español =The Spanish language

Referring to Nouns for Rivers, Mountains, Sea

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 As regards names of rivers, mountains and seas they are all written with a masculine article.

El EverestThe Everest
El PacíficoThe Pacific
El Río de la PlataThe River Plate
El TámesisThe Thames
El AconcaguaThe Aconcagua


  • El Everest =The Everest

  • El Pacífico =The Pacific

  • El Río de la Plata =The River Plate

  • El Támesis =The Thames

Feminine Nouns Ending with -a, -dad, -tad

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In the case of feminine nouns there are several word endings such as –a, -ción, -sión, -dad, -tad and –tud.

La cañaThe cane
La casaThe house
La canciónThe song
La mansiónThe mansion
La reducciónThe reduction
La ciudadThe city
La calidadThe quality
La altitudThe altitude
La cantidadThe quantity
La multitudThe multitude


  • La caña =The cane

  • La casa =The house

  • La canción =The song

  • La mansión =The mansion

How to Form Plural Nouns in Spanish

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Plural nouns in the Spanish language are much simpler than in the English language since you only have to add –s or –es to a noun. However, articles and adjectives also need to agree with plural nouns. Articles and adjectives also take the plural form. You simply add Los to plural masculine nouns and Las to plural feminine nouns.

If a noun ends in any unstressed vowel you need to add –s to form the plural form. Stressed final vowels take –es to form the plural form. Whereas, if a noun ends in a consonant letter you simply add –es. If a word ends in –z to form the plural you simply change to –c and then add –es.

El libroLos librosThe books
La mesaLas mesasThe tables
El billeteLos billetesThe notes
El jabalíLos jabalíesThe wild boars
El colibríLos colibríesThe hummingbirds
El relojLos relojesThe watches
La ciudadLas ciudadesThe cities
El pluralLos pluralesThe plurals
La cruzLas crucesThe crosses
La luzLas lucesThe lights

  • El libro / Los libros =The books

  • La mesa / Las mesas =The tables

  • El billete / Los billetes =The notes

  • El jabalí / Los jabalíes =The wild boars

Nouns Ending in –s and –x

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However words ending in –s and –x with an unstressed final syllable remain the same in the plural form.

El tóraxLos tóraxThe thorax
El cactusLos cactusThe cacti
El virusLos virusThe viruses
La crisisLas crisisThe crisis
El faxLos faxThe faxes

  • El tórax / Los tórax =The thorax

  • El cactus / Los cactus =The cacti

  • El virus / Los virus =The viruses

  • La crisis / Las crisis =The crisis

Nouns Ending in –s having an Unstressed Final Syllable

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In the case of nouns which already end in –s and have an unstressed final syllable, they remain the same in the plural form.

El paraguasLos paraguasThe umbrellas
El martesLos martesThe tuesdays
El cumpleañosLos cumpleañosThe birthdays
El bicepLos bícepsThe biceps
La cariesLas cariesThe tooth cavities


  • El paraguas / Los paraguas =The umbrellas

  • El martes / Los martes =The tuesdays

  • El cumpleaños / Los cumpleaños =The birthdays

  • El bicep / Los bíceps =The biceps

Noun Ending in a Stressed Final Vowel

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If a noun ends in a stressed final vowel you simply add –s. Whereas, those nouns ending in –í or –ú you can simply add –es or –s.

El caféLos cafésThe café
El sofáLos sofásThe sofas
El ombúLos ombúsThe ombues
El tabúLos tabúes/tabúsThe tabues
El israelíLos israelíesThe Israelies

  • El café / Los cafés =The café

  • El sofá / Los sofás =The sofas

  • El ombú / Los ombús =The ombues

  • El tabú / Los tabúes/tabús =The tabues

Plural vs Singular Nouns

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There are many words that behave differently in the Spanish language as regards plurals and singulars. This is the case to name clothes in the Spanish language. In Spanish, many garments are in the singular form whereas in English the only way to name them is in the plural form.

There are other exceptions when talking about furniture, for instance. Whereas in English some words are singular, in the Spanish language they are singular and plural.

El zapatoLos zapatosA pair of shoes
El pantalónLos pantalonesA pair of trousers
El calsonzilloLos calsonzillosA pair of underpants
El guanteLos guantesA pair of gloves
El aroLos arosA pair of earrings
El muebleLos mueblesA piece of furniture
El consejoLos consejosA piece of advice


  • El zapato / Los zapatos =A pair of shoes

  • El pantalón / Los pantalones =A pair of trousers

  • El calsonzillo / Los calsonzillos =A pair of underpants

  • El guante / Los guantes =A pair of gloves

Related Lessons in Advanced Course, to further your understanding.

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Spanish Gender Nouns

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Nouns Referring to Things In Spanish

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Definite and Indefinite Articles, difference in Definite and Indefinite Articles.

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