Gender of Nouns: Lesson 1  

Mini-Lessons - Gender of Nouns 1 - Next Lesson

Words Describing People
Words describing people often have two forms: a masculine form and a feminine form. Can you recognize the two forms from the examples below?

el & la

el director

la directora

el & la

el doctor

la doctora

el & la

el señor

la señora

Masculine & Feminine Words
Did you see that some words have the article "el" in front of them (they are masculine), and some have the article "la" in front of them (they are feminine)?

Another way to distinguish gender is by looking at the end of the word. Words ending in -a are usually feminine. Words ending in -o are usually masculine.

Distinguishing Gender in Words With the Same Ending

Some nouns that refer to people use the same form for both masculine and feminine words. These nouns distinguish gender by the article only - el or la. See below:

el & la

el estudiante

la estudiante

el & la

el pianista

la pianista

el & la

el artista

la artista

Special Endings of Feminine Nouns
Nouns that end in -sión, -ción, -dad, -tad, -tud, -umbre are feminine. Look at the following examples:


la mansión (mansion)

la televisión (television)


la loción (lotion)

la erupción (eruption)


la felicidad (happiness)

la ciudad (city)


la voluntad (goodwill)

la amistad (friendship)


la gratitud (gratitude)

la virtud (virtue)


la costumbre (custom)

la incertidumbre (uncertainty)

Popular Phrase: imperfecto irregulares verbos | Conjugated Verb: abstenerse - abstain; de + infinite = to refrain from [ click for full conjugation ]