what animals are only male or female. there are los gatos and una gata but only el caballo. Would a filly be la caballa?
More than can be typed out here! :)
You are correct that some animals have both masculine and feminine word counterparts, like with 'un/los gato(s)' or 'una/las gata(s)'. That said though, not all animal genders follow this pattern.
In your second example, 'el caballo' can refer to simply a horse that you don't know the gender of, or a male horse/stallion. 'La caballa', on the other hand is not a horse at all, but a type of fish (mackerel)! 'La yuega' would be the word you are looking for if you wanted to say a female horse/mare.
(Nitpicking now, but a filly is actually a young female horse, and would be 'la potranca') :) Included below is an excerpt from more in-depth explanation of the topic, with the link included at the end!
- Some animals have both a masc. & fem. form that look very similar (e.g. '
o/a' or '
- And some use the same word regardless of animal's gender, even though they may look similar to other gendered nouns. (e.g. '
a(f.)' or '
- Some may have different words for both genders (e.g. '
una vaca(f.)' or '
- And sometimes the word that looks like the word for the opposite gender means something totally different (e.g. '
un pato(m.; 'a duck')' & '
una pata(f.; 'a leg')')
Speaking of la caballa and mackerel, the kind of fish we now call "tuna" used to be called "horse mackerel". "Tuna sandwich" sounds better somehow than "horse mackerel sandwich", doesn't it?
Not sure I've ever heard that before! Less of a mouthful for sure, haha.
Thanks for sharing! :)
"¡Un caballo caballa bocadillo, por favor!"
I'm confused..is it bebe, or beben? I guess I get mixed up when it's the proper time to use the (n). I know it gives a small explanation, but I don't understand. Please explain? :(
It is 'beben '. Try thinking about it like this,
'The elephants (they) drink water.'
'Los elefantes (ellos) beben agua.'
Because 'Los elefantes' tells you it is multiple elephants (as opposed to 'El elefante'. The elephant drinks water would be, 'El elefante bebe agua.'
Hope this helps :)
Because it's elephants, plural.
El elefante bebe - the elephant drinks (singular)
Los elefantes beben - the elephants drink (plural)
is there anyone from Latin America? please tell me how beben is pronounced in Latin America. Should it be pronounced as [beben] or as [beven]? Gracias.
When there is a vowel as the last letter of the noun, to get the plural, just add an "s" and keep the vowel the same. With a constanant as the last letter, add "es". Because elephante ends with the vowel "e", all you would do to get the plural is add an "s", making it elephantes.
el elefante --> los elefantes (masculine)
Would you ever say this for 'The elephants are drinking water', or is that always 'Los elefantes estan bebiendo agua'?
i put drank instead of drink... but beben is past tense so i don't get it...
Beben' is actually present tense, so using the English 'drank' is correctly incorrect.
'They drank' would '
They need to stop talking so fast! I'm still a noob at Spanish, I can't understand someone when they talk that fast in a different language! I even thought that they said "elelelefante"!