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Table of contents Chapter 2 2.0 Introduction

chapter 1
Chapter 2: Articles and formation of plurals

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  2.0 Introduction  

Bad news first: The Spanish divide all their nouns in feminine and masculine. Not only that they divide the nouns related to persons (or personalities like my dog - he is really a great guy!), but also chairs and walls and cars and the sky has a gender in the mind of a Spaniard.

The good news anyway is that the rule is quite simple. Words that end with an a are feminine. Masculine words end with an o (very often), an e (also quite often) or with an r. There are some more cases, to which we will come back later.

With this distinction goes also that there are two (actually three) definite articles with the Spanish nouns. Feminine nouns get the (definite) feminine article la. Masculine nouns get the (definite) masculine article el. It is not that difficult so far, is it? In comparison the English language knows just one definite article the.

  Example: (feminine)  
la casa = house 
las casas = houses 
 feminine singular la
 feminine plural las

  Example: (masculine)
el hombre = man 
los hombres = men 
 masculine singular el
 masculine plural los

Since the basic logic is so clear (of course there are some exceptions, but we will have a look at them a bit later) there is actually no need to search for any other logic. Please keep in mind that in case you have studied French or German, the gender in German or French is NOT automatically the same in Spanish!!

chapter 1