María - Mary
mesa - table
alegría - happiness
oro - gold
In Spanish nouns distinguish between masculine and feminine. Generally if a noun ends in "-o" it is masculine and if it ends in "-a" is feminine, although there are many exceptions to this rule. Eg:
Éste es mi niño. - This is my child.
In this example the noun "niño" names a boy.
Ésta es mi niña. - This is my child.
In this example the noun "niña" names a girl.
Spanish nouns also distinguish between singular and plural.
The general rule is to add "-s" to the noun in singular.
una mesa - one table
tres mesas - three tables
If the singular noun ends in "-z" we do its plural en "-ces".
Tengo un pez. - I have a fish.
Tengo tres peces. - I have three fish.
When the singular noun ends in "-s" and it is formed by only one syllable, we add "-es" to form the plural. This rule also applies to nouns of more than one syllable ending in "-s" and with the accent in the last syllable.
No tengo compás. - I do not have a compass.
Yo tengo dos compases. - I have two compasses.
Nouns ending in "-i" with "tilde" or in "-y" do their plural by adding "-es".
el rey - the king
los reyes - the kings
un Israelí - an Israeli
dos Israelíes - two Israelis