Genders and Articles in Spanish Language

Genders and Articles

English is also simpler than the Spanish when referring to grammatical management of definite and indefinite Articles. However, in the case of Gender, it is the Spanish who, in some cases, simplifies things. Both concepts, genders and articles, will be explained below.

The Grammatical Gender:

It is called Gender to a grammatical feature they have, in Spanish language, nouns, articles, adjectives, participles and pronouns, which classifies them into two groups: masculine and feminine.

Lack of gender adverbs and verbs (except for participles) and certain number of particles have neuter gender.

Masculine and Feminine words:

Are masculine words in Spanish:

  • Most words that end in “o”, but also have masculine gender other words ending in other letters, such as “a” and “e”.
  •  Rivers, mountains, volcanoes, isthmuses, channels: el Nile, el Amazonas, los Himalayas.
  •  The cyclones, including hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms: el Gustav, el Hanna.
  •  The months and days of the week.
  • Most of the winds (except for “la brisa“, the Breeze).
  • Musical notes: el la (la), el fa bemol (flat fa).
  • The augmentative finished in ‘on’ applied to things, even if they result from feminine word: el mesón  “the big table” (la mesa “table”), el notición “the big news” (la noticia “news”).
  • The names of the cardinal points: el Norte (North), el Sur (South), el Este (East) and el Oeste (West).
  • The numbers: el tres (three), el cinco (five), el 93.

Genders and Articles

Are Feminine words:

  • Most of the words that end in “a”. Also have feminine genre other words ending in other letters, such as “o” and “e”.
  • The letters: la hache (h), la “o”.

There are names ending in “a” which are sometimes masculine, sometimes feminine, according to the sense in which they are used: el Cura (priest), is masculine and feminine in the other meanings: la cura (cure), el cometa (comet) is masculine as celestial body, and feminine: la cometa (kite) as a toy for children.

Article Definition:

In Spanish, as in English, the Article is a type of grammatical element that identifies a substantive and accurate if it is determined or undetermined.

In the case of Determined Articles, which makes a very important difference is the magic word: “the“.

When we say that ‘the’ is a magic word, we refer, for example, because that is the only article of the English language, and is used for expressions of both genders and for the singular and the plural. Is required to use the following specific items in Spanish:

    • El: masculine singular → el perro esta ladrando → the dog is barking
    • La: feminine singular → la mañana está muy fría → the morning is very cold
    • Los: masculine plural → debo alimentar a los perros → I should feed the dogs
    • Las: feminine plural → Yo camino en las mañanas → I walk in the mornings


Something similar happens with indeterminate or indefinite articles. As in English, used to refer to something not determined or undefined. Are used in English: “a” and “an” based on the first letter of the next word, to avoid phonetic difficulties, but its use is not dependent on gender or of number.

In Spanish, the indeterminate or indefinite articles are:

    • Un (masculine singular) → un hombre → a man
    • Una (feminine singular) → una mujer → a woman
    • Unos (masculine plural) → unos hombres → some men
    • Unas (feminine plural) → unas mujeres → some women

Spanish Verbs Software

Let us give you some examples for to illustrate about genders and Articles, making a comparison between Spanish and English substantives:



The elephant

El elefante

The female elephant

La elefanta

The elephants

Los elefantes

The female elephants

Las elefantas

A female elephant

Una elefanta

An elephant

Un elefante

Some elephants

Unos elefantes

Some female elephants

Unas elefantas

  • Neutral Article: It has no gender and is used to nominalize adjectives or subordinate sentences that beginning with “que” and before adjectives that characterize a noun. In Spanish there is a neutral article “lo“, and in English appears again the magic word “the” and the word “what” to play the role of neutral Articles:
    • Quédate con lo bueno. → Stay with the good.
    • Llévate lo mejor. → Take the best.
    • Escoge lo que tú quieras. → Choose what you want.
    • Dime lo que piensas. → Tell me what you think.
  • Contract Article: is formed when the article “el” go together with the prepositions “a” (to) and “de” (from) when speaking of places or locations. In Spanish there are two items which contracts in both cases have an equivalent of the English expression formed by two words: “to the” and “from the“:
    • Al (a + el): Yo voy al cine a ver una película → I go to the cinema to see a movie

Nosotros vamos juntos al bosque → We go together to the forest

    • Del (de + el): Nosotros somos del Norte → We are from the North

Yo vengo del segundo piso → I come from the second floor

If you have any questions regarding Genders and Articles, contact us via e-mail or through the comments of the corresponding Post, and with great pleasure we will help you to clarify it.

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Written By Alberto Otano

One Comment on “Genders and Articles in Spanish Language

  1. Cortez Gerla

    December 1, 2016 at 4:44

    Nice post. I admiredstar this information!

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