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Nouns - Nombres

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A noun is a word that names a person, place or thing. Nouns in English are not all identified as either male or female.

Articles of Nouns

Nouns in Spanish are either male or female. They are often preceded by the articles "el" for the masculine and "la" for the feminine (both meaning "the").

The indefinite form of a noun in English is used with the word "a" or "an".or "some". In Spanish there is a masculine and feminine form of this word as well as the singular and plural. The masculine singular is "un" and the feminine singular is "una". The masculine plural is "unos" and the feminine plural is "unas".

If a noun is plural, the definite article "the" is fomred as "los" for the masculine and "las" for the feminine. This is different than English where there is no plural form for "the".

Forms of Masculine and Feminine Nouns

Here are some general rules so one knows if a noun is masculine or feminine.

Masculine Rule Masculine Example Feminine Rule Feminine Example
Nouns ending in "o" generally are masculine, nino - boy Nouns ending in "a" are generally feminine, nina - girl
A number of nouns that end in ma are masculine,

el clima
el problema
el programa
el sistema
el poema
el idioma
el telegrama
el tema

Nouns that end in "dad" la ciudad - city
A few that end in a are masculine el día
el mapa
el planeta
el sofá
Nouns that end in "sión" colisión - collision
    Nouns that end in "ción" acción - action
    Nouns that end in "tad" la libertad
    Nouns that end in "tud" altitud - attitude
    Nouns that end in "umbre" la certidumbre
    Several nouns that end in o are feminine lal mano - hand
la radio - radio


Singular and Plural Formations of Nouns


As in the examples above, most nouns form the plural by adding s to the singular form when they end in a vowel. However, as with English, there are some that are exceptions. Here are some examples:

If a noun ends in a consonant, add "es" to form the plural.

If a noun ends in "ión", the accent is dropped in the plural form.

la televisión -las televisiones

When a noun ends in "z", change the "z" to "c" and then add "es".