The Spanish Noun  

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The Spanish Noun

1. The gender of names of countries, provinces, and towns is according to their termination (Lesson III - The Noun), but those ending in "d" are generally masculine.

Exceptions are found, the names "ciudad" or "pueblo" being then understood.

2. Names of trees are masculine, those of fruits are feminine.

  • La higuera (the fig-tree)
  • La palma (the palm-tree)
  • La viña (the vine-tree)
  • El dátil (the date)
  • El pistacho (the pistachio-nut)
  • El higo (the fig)
  • El melocotón (the peach)
  • El albérchigo (the peach)
  • El durazno (the apricot)
  • El albaricoque (the apricot)
  • El mango (the mango)

And a few more.

3. A masculine article is used with other parts of speech whole sentences used substantively, as:

  • Quiero un sí ó un no claro: I want a clear (decisive) yes or no.
  • El aprender es útil: Learning is useful.
  • El que lo haya hecho sin consultarme no puede serme de grande gusto: That he did it without consulting me is certainly not pleasing to me.

A list of principal exceptions to the rule given on Spanish gender by termination is given in Appendix I - Exceptions to the Rules on Gender and Termination.

To the rules for the formation of the plural (Lesson III - The Noun) we shall add:

1. Family names ending in "z" unstressed do not change:

  • Juan Fernández: Los Señores Fernández
  • But:El Sr. Ruiz: Los Señores Ruices

2. The names of the vowels pluralize in "es": Las aes, las ees, las íes, las oes, las úes.

3. Some Latin words used in Spanish, as: Accessit, déficit, fiat, ultimatum, agnus dei, etc., do not change for the plural, except: Album: álbumes.

For other peculiarities of number see Appendix II. Collective nouns in Spanish are generally followed by the verb in the singular, as: La gente piensa: People think.

But after a collective noun, indefinite in its meaning, the verb may follow in the plural, as: Una cantidad de géneros se vendió, or vendieron en subasta: A quantity of goods was or were sold by auction.

N.B.:The tendency of the language is in favour of the singular.

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