Masculine or feminine?

Posted on 04. Jul, 2012 by in Spanish Grammar

Words ending in -o are usually masculine and words ending in -a are usually feminine in Spanish, but, as you may have noticed, there are exceptions. So, how do we know when a word is masculine or feminine? So here are some tips.

Words that are usually masculine ending in

-o: cariño [caress], libro [book]
-or: candor [innocence], reesplandor [glare], color [color], dolor [pain], valor [value]
-aje: blindaje [armor plating], peritaje [inspection], libertinaje [debauchery], abordaje [approach]
-ma: poema [poem], sistema [system], teorema [theorem], fonema [phoneme], problema [problem]
-an: pan [bread], azafrán [saffron], mazapán [marzipan], plan [plan]
-ambre: enjambre [swarm], alambre [wire], hambre [hunger]

Some exceptions: la mano, la radio, la moto, la foto, la dinamo, la libido

Words that are usually feminine ending in

-a: casa [house], mesa [table], tiza [chalk]
-dad: bondad [kindness], amabilidad [kindness], caridad [charity]
-umbre: mansedumbre [meekness], podredumbre [rottenness], pesadumbre [grief]
-tud: virtud [virtue], exactitud [accuracy], solicitud [application, request]
-eza, -nza: pureza [purity], realeza [royalty], esperanza [hope], templanza [temperance]
-ie: progenie [progeny], barbarie [savagery]
-ción, -sión: realización [execution], admiración [admiration], vocación [vocation], canción [song], erosión [erosion], visión [vision], sesión [session]
-cia, -ncia: eficacia [effectiveness], tolerancia [tolerance]

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About Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.

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