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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.


Comments:

  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.
    Joop

  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.