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https://www.duolingo.com/cwwozniak

Masculine and Feminine Non-Living Things

Is there a rule that I can follow to tell if a non-living thing is masculine or feminine in Spanish? Tie is feminine and dress is masculine, but why?

3 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/beadspitter

No. There is no intuitive connection between the social/cultural construct 'gender' and grammatical gender. A lot of it has to do with what grammatical gender related words were in Latin, much of which (but not all) has to do with the grammatical gender related words were in classical Greek. But they have almost nothing to do with actual biological sex (male/female/hermaphridite/sexless) or gender (man, woman, gender-queer, trans, etc.).

Think of it like learning which verbs are -ar verbs, which are -ir, which are -er, and which are irregular. It's just something you learn. The easiest way to retain it is to always learn the vocabulary item with the article. Not, "vestido" but "el vestido", every time you practice. Not "mesa" but "la mesa," not "día" but "el día."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ToCesar
ToCesar
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And of course there is el água, which is either feminine or "transgender" :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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Masculine: if it ends in -o, -e, an accented vowel like -í, a consonant, and -ma (there are exceptions!)
Feminine: if it ends in -a, -d, -z, and -ión (there are exceptions!)
http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/1
There's really no real way to make sense of why which words were assigned which grammar, it's just something you have to memorize.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Some things make little sense, some may make some sense. When "vestido" was coined as word, trousers may not yet have been invented, and men wore a 'dress.'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wynrich
wynrichPlus
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I remember the aha moment I had when I realized it is the WORD that is masculine or feminine, not the thing itself. This became clear when I came across something that translated to two different interchangeable words and one was masculine and one was feminine. Wish I could remember exactly what it was. But here are some examples I was able to come up with just now. Maybe you can think of others?

Road: la carretera, la calle, el camino

Office: la oficina, el despacho

Living room: la sala, el salón

Cabbage: el repollo, la col

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elgatobandido
Elgatobandido
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I have found no exceptions so far to the rules that words ending -ción, -sión, or -dad are feminine. Some -ión words are masculine like el avión.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vvHills10

ye

7 months ago