In Spanish every noun has a gender, that is it is identified as being either a feminine or masculine word. The gender of some words are obvious. Words that refer to a male, such as father, brother, etc., are masculine. Those words that refer to a female, such as mother or sister are feminine. For all other words you have to learn the correct ending.
Usually you can identify the gender of a noun by looking at the last letter in the word. For example:
Nouns that end with the letter "o". These are usually masculine nouns.
Note: there are some exceptions:
It is la foto because it the word is an abbreviated form of la fotografía.
Nouns that end with the letter "a". These are usually feminine nouns.
Note: there are two exceptions:
|Nouns that end the letter "a" that are masculine usually derived from greek words:|
|Nouns that end with the letters "ista". These nouns usually refer to a profession or political persuasion and are masculine when refer to a man and feminine when referring to a woman.|
|el dentista||dentist (male)|
|la dentista||dentist (female)|
|el novelista||novelist (male)|
|la novelista||novelist (female)|
Other feminine endings:
|All nouns ending in "dad", "tad", "tud", "umbre", "ción" or "sión" are feminine.|
Nouns ending with the letter "e"
|Most nouns that end in "e" that do not refer to human beings are masculine.|
|el café||coffee, cafe|
|Note: these are common exceptions which are feminine nouns.|
Nouns ending with the letters "nte"
Nouns that end in with the letters "nte" usually refer to people and can be used for both genders. Many Spanish speakers change "nte" to "nta" when speaking about a female.
|el presidente||president (male)|
|la presidente||president (female)|
|la presidenta||president (female)|
|el asistente||assistant (male)|
|la asistente||assistant (female)|
|la asistenta||assistant (female)|