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Noun gender in Spanish: Special rules [compilation]

We know that life is not that easy as we learn a rule and everything works just great. We know it's a little bit more difficult than that and so are languages. 
We've seen in previous posts some interesting tips and rules to learn the noun gender in Spanish, but still we'll find more nouns ending in a different letter that doesn't apply to any of those. Now it is the time to get a little deeper into it. Everything in a language has a reason to be, but we don't need to explore all of them to learn basic Spanish.
The poster attached to this post is a simple summary of special rules applying to noun gender in Spanish, but to make them more accessible to our students we can work with it in different ways (to diversify is always a great choice).

We can group them by gender, like:

Generally, a noun is masculine in Spanish if it ends in:
  • - o: el 
  • - or: el amor, el olor, el dolor, el amargor, el anterior, el sabor, el ardor...
  • - aje: el coraje, el paisaje, el garaje, el masaje, el mestizaje, el dopaje... 
  • - ema: el problema, el tema, el lexema, el esquema, el poema, el sistema...
Regularly, a noun is feminine in Spanish if it ends in:
  • - a: la casa, la almohada, la aceitera, la anchura, la daga, la 
  • - dad: la normalidad, la ciudad, la verdad, la cavidad, la nulidad, la disponibilidad, la diversidad, la deportividad, la exclusividad...
  • - tad: la libertad, la amistad, la lealtad, la tempestad, la pubertad, la facultad, la voluntad, la enemistad, la deslealtad, la majestad...
We can also give our students a list of nouns and ask them to group them by masculine or feminine in two different columns:

tema, mano, masaje, olor, árbol, amistad, canción, igualdad, libertad, problema, radio, garaje, amor, función, maternidad, lealtad, día, moto, peaje, sabor, condición, nocturnidad, mitad, sofá, foto, paisaje, error, formación, paternidad

Masculine nouns
Feminine nouns
el error














la paternidad

Check with this "The odd one out" [in Spanish: encuentra al intruso] your understanding of what we have been talking about:



Check your answers

Children must be taught HOW TO THINK,
not what to think.
Margaret Mead

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