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Spanish: Masculine & Feminine confusion

Alternia
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I've been taking the Spanish course for a few days now and I was wondering about how you know when you supposed to use masculine and feminine words in sentences.

1
4 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DaleFavier
DaleFavier
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Basically, a noun will be either masculine or feminine -- that can't change. Toro is always masculine, manzana is always feminine. Blanco/Blanca, though, is an adjective, and it will change its ending to match the noun it goes with. So a white bull is a toro blanco, but a white apple is a manzana blanca. If your white bulls are eating white apples, you've got toros blancos comiendo manzanas blancas. (Things actually get a little more complicated than that, but that will take you a long way.)

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vwlj
vwlj
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While a bull is always un toro, and cow is una vaca, there are some animals that are masc. or fem. depending on the sex of the animal. For example, a male dog is un perro, while a female dog is una perra. I've been told the best way to learn which nouns are masc. and which fem. is to learn the noun together with the article, because there are exceptions to the o/a ending "rule" - for example, ''el problema", which looks fem. but is actually masc. or "el agua" or "la mano" - if it means the hand.

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaleFavier
DaleFavier
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Yes, but alas, "agua" is feminine despite taking the "masculine" article. So memorizing the article doesn't guarantee getting the gender right.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wynrich
wynrichPlus
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1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vwlj
vwlj
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DaleFavier: you're right, alas!

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/madison01997

Look and see if the word has “el" or “la" before it. If you don't see that, look at the end of the word. If it has -o at the end it's masculine. If it has -a at the end it's feminine. There are some exceptions though. One that i can think of is “la mano.” Just go with what you think is right. It'll tell you if you're wrong or not. Adjectives are different though. It changes it's ending depending on what the context is around it. Colors for example. It also depends on wether the person or thing being referred to is masculine or feminine. It's all about what words you see around it.

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alternia
Alternia
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What about animals. I've seen el Gato and La Gata before.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaleFavier
DaleFavier
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This is one of those complications I was trying to steer around :-) I find it easiest to say that there's two nouns, "el gato" which means "male cat" and "la gata" which means "female cat" and they just happen to look a lot alike.

1
Reply4 years ago