Spanish Language Blog

You just have to learn them! Posted by on Mar 24, 2009 in Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary

OK, so your Spanish teacher taught you that basically words ending in -a take the article “la” and words ending in -o take the article “el”. Right? Not quite. There are words that defy categorization and there is no magic way to learn them other than study and remember their gender. Here’s a little list:

el acorde – chord

el problema – problem

el barniz – varnish

el cobre – copper

el cometa – comet

el mueble – piece of furniture

el pez – fish (living)

el pie – foot

el reloj – clock, wristwatch

el sauce – willow

el taller – workshop

el yate – yacht

la cruz – cross

la flor – flower

la frente – forehead

la gripe – influenza, the flu

la leche – milk

la nave -spaceshift, depot

la nieve – snow

la tos – cough

la ubre – udder

la mano – hand

el sofá – sofa

el tema – theme, topic

la radio – radio

See you next time!

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About the Author: 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.


  1. Joop Duijf:

    Recently I joined the blog and I have to say I enjoy it. I hope to pick up bits and pieces every time to improve my little knowledge of Spanish.
    I would like to make a remark re Spanish Articles about the ‘to be expected’ gender.
    I think one has to be careful as some articles can be ‘el’ or ‘la’ depending on there meaning!
    E.g. la radio = the radio however
    el radio = the radius or spoke even in South America the radio is EL radio
    el cometa = comet
    la cometa = kite
    I presume these are not the only ones.

    I hope this is a help.

  2. david carmona:

    You are right. We posted an article on that topic a few months ago, with several examples. You can search for the article called “Gorra o gorro?”, or look at the December 2008 archive.