Substantives or Nouns, the Master Words.


Substantives or Nouns.

As in English, in Spanish there are also Substantives or Nouns to identify people, animals, places, things, and ideas. Nouns are grammatically more important element for several reasons which we will now see the two most important:

    • The noun is who runs the actions or verbs
    • In complete sentences, also receives the actions




We will see several sentences to reaffirm these concepts:

Peter sings very well. He is singing at the shower.

Peter loves operaOpera is a music that requires culture.

The dogs bark when Peter sings opera.

Proper Noun Peter

We have identified with the color red, all nouns of those sentences. As the reader can see, nouns were the executors of actions identified and were also used to identify people, animals, places, things and ideas.

Up to this point, we can say that both languages coincide totally in the concept and use of nouns. The revised concepts are basically those of proper noun and common noun and in our examples are identified in the following way:

Peter: Proper Noun. It indicates a person on an individual basis, differentiating it from others. It is written with a capital letter at the beginning.

Shower: Common noun. Indicates a place or location. Only is capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or in a title of a text Common name. Indicates a place or location. Only is capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or in a title of a text.

Opera, music, dogs: Common nouns that refer to things, ideas, and animals. Are only written with a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence or in a title of a text.

To delve into other classifications associated with nouns, let us look at the following table:

Substantives or common nouns. Other classifications.

Classified by

English

Español

Comments

Can or can’t be perceived by the senses

Concrete

Concreto

Same concept. No differences

Abstract

Abstracto

Can or can’t be counted

Count

Contable

Same concept. No differences

Noncount

Incontable

Used for groups

Collective

Colectivo

Same concept. No differences

Number

Singular

Singular

Same concept. Some differences

Plural

Plural

 




Are called concrete, substantives or nouns that identify elements that can be: seen, heard, tasted, smelled or touched. This classification also applies to the Spanish. Examples are:

arroz (rice), perro (dog), música (music), perfume (perfum), casa (house).

Obviously, the abstract are nouns that identify elements that exist, but may not be perceived by any of the five senses:

amor (love), política (politic), fuerza (force), conocimiento (knowledge).

Are called count substantives, nouns that apply to elements that can be physically counted for example:

perro (dog), piedra (rock), hombre (man), automóvil (car), lápiz (pencil).

The noncount, describes elements that can not be counted individually:

leche (milk), aire (air), agua (water), arena (sand).

In the case of collective and numbers, we believe that the best way to illustrate the definitions is with the following table:

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Singular

Vaca

Cow

Jugador

Player

Soldado

Soldier

Alumno

Student

Plural

Vacas

Cows

Jugadores

Players

Soldados

Soldiers

Alumnos

Students

Collective

Rebaño

Herd

Equipo

Team

Ejercito

Army

Escuela

School

 

In this case, the most important rules to consider are the following:

In Spanish, Substantives or nouns that represent collective, are singular nouns and as such must use pronouns and verbs associated. The right thing is to say:

El Equipo juega bien (The Team plays good)

substantives or nouns team

 

and not:

El Equipo juegan bien (The Team play good)

With nouns finishes in vowel (a, e, i, o, u), normally the plural is formed by adding an “s” at the end:

libro (book) –libros (books)     mesa (table) – mesas (tables)

If the last letter of the noun is an “í” or a “ú” with tonic accent, add the “es” ending:

 jabalí (boar)– jabalíes (boars)     bambú (bamboo) – bambúes (bamboos)

With nouns finishes in consonant (d, l, r, z,…), normally the plural is formed by adding the ending “es”:

ordenador (computer) – ordenadores (computers)     animal (animal) – animales (animals)

It is important to note not to change the emphasis on the word, it may be necessary to add or remove a tilde when adding  “es” ending:

examen – exámenes     institución – instituciones

When add “es”, the “z” changes to “c”:

cruz (cross) – cruces (crosses)

With the nouns of nonspanish origin finishes in consonant, the plural is formed by adding “s” or “es”, any of them:

club (club)– clubs/clubes (clubs)

Exceptions

Substantives or Nouns with a final no tonic syllable end in “s” or “x” are unchanged:

el cactus – los cactus     el tórax (thorax)- los tórax (thorax)

But if the final syllable is tonic, the termination “es” shall be added:

autobús (bus) – autobuses (buses)

Most nouns have a singular form and the plural another:

elefante (elephant) – elefantes (elephants)    piscina (pool)– piscinas (pools)

Some are used only in the singular:

el dinero (money), el hambre (hunger)

Some are used only in the plural:

las gafas (lens), las tijeras (scissors), los pantalones (pants)

In these two last examples, the difference makes the grammatical element called Article, which we will see in subsequent Posts.



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Written By Alberto Otano

4 Comments on “Substantives or Nouns, the Master Words.

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