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NOUNS = A noun is a word used to denote a person, place, thing, or idea. Los sustantivos se usan para conocer el género en español, para esto miramos la terminación de la palabra. In Spanish, all nouns are either masculine or feminine.

Masculine Feminine
boy girl
el jardín la universidad
garden university
el libro la revista
book magazine
el miedo la libertad
fear liberty
el chico la chica

The following Spanish Nouns denote living creatures and their genders .

  • cat - el gato - male
  • cat - la gata - female
  • dog - el perro - male
  • dog - la perra - female
  • boy - el chico - male
  • girl - la chica - female
  • grandfather - el abuelo - male
  • grandmother - la abuela - female
Sustantivos Masculinos

Terminan en
-n, -o, -r, -s, -e, -l

el ratón , el libro ,
amor , el compás ,
restaurante , el hotel

Sustantivos Femeninos

Terminan en
-a, -ad, -ción

la playa , la ciudad ,

The idea that nouns have gender seems perfectly natural when the noun stands for a living creature. This is because in English, living creatures often have different names, depending upon whether they are male or female.

How are all of these masculine nouns alike? Hint: look at both the beginning and the ending of each line.

  • el gato
  • el perro
  • el chico
  • el abuelo

How are all of these feminine nouns alike? Hint: look at both the beginning and the ending of each line.

  • la gata
  • la perra
  • la chica
  • la abuela

"El" and "la" both mean "THE."

  • el chico (the boy) - la chica (the girl)
  • el perro (the male dog) - la gata (the female cat)

Note: These two words (el, la) are called "definite articles."

Excepciones = La mano, el día, el tema, el mapa, la foto, el programa, el clima, el idioma, el sistema, el planeta, la radio, etc.

Los Sustantivos y los números

Singular ? Plural

Terminan en vocal

la casa, el coche

+ s

las casas, los coches

Terminan en consonante

el hotel, la ciudad

+ ES

los hoteles, las ciudades

What do you notice about the last letter of these nouns?

Masculine Feminine
gato gata
perro perra
chico chica
abuelo abuela

Nouns that end in "o" are usually masculine. Nouns that end in "a" are usually feminine. There are exceptions to these two rules. One cannot predict the gender of a noun that stands for a non-living thing.

When you learn in Spanish a new noun, you should also learn its definite article (el, la). There are several reasons for this:

  • Because you cannot predict the gender of most nouns.
  • Because not every noun that ends in "o" is masculine, and not every noun that ends in "a" is feminine.
  • Because many nouns end in letters other than o or a.
  • Because the definite article (el, la) is your clue as to whether a noun is masculine or feminine.

The Personal Pronouns "I" "you" "he" "she" "we" "you" and "they" are called subject pronouns. Spanish has corresponding subject pronouns. Here's a list and its equivalents:

  • yo ----- I
  • usted ----- you
  • él ---- he
  • ella ---- she
  • nosotros ---- we
  • ustedes ---- you
  • ellos ---- they

You can be translated into Spanish as "usted." But there is also a second way and in Spanish can be expressed as:

  • usted ----- you (formal)
  • ----- you (informal)

In Spanish "Usted" is generally used to express respect. "Tú" is more familiar used among friends, coworkers, relatives, or when addressing a child.

  • Speaking to your boss: usted
  • Speaking to your daughter: tú
  • Speaking to your teacher: usted
  • Speaking to your friend: tú

This same distinction occurs in the plural form as well. There are two choices in Spanish:

  • ustedes ---- you formal
  • vosotros ----- you familiar

However, the vosotros form is used primarily in Spain. Throughout Latin America, "ustedes" is generally used in both formal and informal situations.

  • Speaking to a group of strangers (in Latin America): ustedes

Note: usted can be abbreviated Ud. or Vd.; ustedes can be abbreviated Uds. or Vds .

In many ways, Spanish is more gender-specific than English. We find evidence of this in the subject pronouns. First, look at the word "nosotros." This means "we" in the sense of a group containing at least one male. If the group contains only females, the word "nosotras" is used. So, in Spanish, there are two ways to say "we"

  • nosotros = we (masculine or mixed group)
  • nosotras = we (all feminine)
  • ellos = they (masculine or mixed group)
  • ellas = they (all feminine)
  • ustedes = you familiar (masculine or femenine group)

Finally, don't get confused over the difference between talking to a group or talking about a group. Consider the following statement, which could have been made by your Spanish teacher, while standing before the class:

  • "You need to study more Spanish.

Talking to a group, use "you":

  • ustedes
  • nosotros
  • nosotras

Talking about a group, use "they":

  • ellos
  • ellas

Complete list of Spanish subject pronouns:


  • yo - I
  • - you (familiar)
  • él - he
  • ella - she
  • usted - you (formal)


  • nosotros - we (masculine or mixed gender)
  • nosotras - we (feminine)
  • ellos - they (masculine or mixed gender)
  • ellas - they (feminine)
  • ustedes - you (formal and familiar in Latin America)



In Spanish speaking countries, the week begins on Monday.

  • lunes ---- Monday
  • martes ----- Tuesday
  • miércoles ----- Wednesday
  • jueves ------ Thursday
  • viernes ------ Friday
  • sábado ------ Saturday
  • domingo ------ Sunday

Notice that the days of the week are not capitalized. The days of the week are all masculine.

  • el lunes
  • el martes
  • el miércoles
  • el jueves
  • el viernes
  • el sábado
  • el domingo

When used with the days of the week, the definite article has the special meaning "on."

  • No trabajo el lunes. ------ I don't work on Monday.
  • No trabajo los martes. ------ I don't work on Tuesdays.
  • Hay una fiesta el miércoles. ------ There is a party on Wednesday.
  • Hay muchas fiestas los viernes. ------ There are many parties on Fridays.

PLURAL: Days of the week ending in "s" do not change form in the plural. Only the article changes.

  • el lunes ----- los lunes
  • el martes ----- los martes
  • el miércoles ----- los miércoles
  • el jueves ----- los jueves
  • el viernes ----- los viernes
  • el sábado ----- los sábados
  • el domingo ----- los domingos

Use the verb ser to express the day. It's important to realize that the word "es" is a conjugation of that verb, and is the correct verb in this use.

  • ¿Qué día es hoy? ----- What day is today?
  • Hoy es lunes. ------ Today is Monday.
  • Mañana es martes. ----- Tomorrow is Tuesday.

Notice that the following actions do not occur in the present, but rather in the near future.

  • Salimos el lunes. ----- We leave on Monday.
  • Mañana es domingo. ----- Tomorrow is Sunday.

In Spanish, the present tense of the indicative is sometimes used to express the near future. English does this too.

  • Salimos el lunes. ----- We (will) leave on Monday.
  • Mañana es domingo. ----- Tomorrow (will be) is Sunday.

Spanish also has many idiomatic expressions. Although their literal translations sound odd to English speakers, they sound perfectly natural to native speakers. Here is one example:

  • Idiom: Hace mucho frío
  • Literally: It makes much cold
  • True Meaning: It is very cold

In Spanish, there are a number of idiomatic expressions that employ the verb hacer (literal meaning (to do or to make), and are used to describe the weather.

  • ¿Qué tiempo hace? What's the weather like?
  • Hace frío. It's cold.
  • Hace calor. It's hot.
  • Hace viento. It's windy.
  • Hace sol. It's sunny.
  • Hace buen tiempo. The weather is good.
  • Hace mal tiempo. The weather is bad.
  • Hace fresco. It's brisk.

Like the idioms that use tener, these idioms also contain a noun.

  • el frío
  • el calor
  • el viento
  • el sol
  • el tiempo

Because idioms use nouns, they are modified by adjectives, not adverbs.

  • Hace mucho frío.
  • It's very cold.

There are also weather expressions that use the verb hay:

  • Hay niebla. It's foggy.
  • Hay neblina. It's misty.
  • Hay sol. The sun is shining.
  • Hay luna. The moon is out.
  • Hay relámpagos. It's lightning.
  • Hay humedad. It's humid.
  • Hay nubes. It's cloudy.
  • Hay lluvias torrenciales. It's pouring.
  • Hay un vendaval. There's a windstorm.
  • Hay granizo. It's hailing.
  • Hay lloviznas. It's sprinkling.

Other weather expressions use the verb estar along with an adjective:

  • Está oscuro. It's dark.
  • Está nublado. It's cloudy.
  • Está lluvioso. It's raining.

Other weather expressions simply use a single verb:

  • Llueve - It is raining. or It rains. From the verb llover (to rain)
  • Nieva - It is snowing. or It snows. From the verb nevar (to snow)
  • Truena - It is thundering. or It thunders. From the verb tronar (to thunder)
  • Llovizna - It is drizzling. or It drizzles. From the verb lloviznar (to drizzle)
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