Let's talk about gender. If you have been studying Spanish, you probably know that nouns in Spanish have gender. For example, the word libro (book) is a masculine noun. On the contrary, the noun pelota (ball) is feminine. If you want to use those nouns with their corresponding definite articles, you will say el libro (the book) and la pelota (the ball). Now, what about the noun agua (water)? Is agua masculine or feminine? Do you say el agua or la agua?
Let's take a look at some clips:
Cuando uno tiene sed Pero el agua no está cerca
When one is thirsty But the water's not close by
Captions 17-18, Jarabe de Palo AguaPlay Caption
Y como para completar la historia, desperdiciaban el agua todo el tiempo.
And, as if to make matters worse, they wasted water all the time.
Caption 15, Salvando el planeta Palabra Llegada - Part 7Play Caption
y apenas sus pies tocaron el agua, se convirtieron en dos grandes serpientes
and as soon as their feet touched the water, they turned into two big snakesPlay Caption
Can you answer now our question? According to the above clips, is agua masculine or feminine? In all the previous clips, the word agua is placed right after the masculine definite article "el" so the noun agua must be masculine, right? Not too fast! Let's take a look at the following clips:
limonadas, refrescos o simplemente agua fresca.
lemonades, sodas or just cold water.
Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Karen Utensilios de cocinaPlay Caption
Las formas de presentación incluyen el agua ozonizada y el aceite ozonizado,
The formulations include ozonized water and ozonized oil,
Caption 35, Los médicos explican Beneficios del ozonoPlay Caption
Un día, los vientos del páramo agitaron las aguas de la laguna
One day, the winds from the tundra shook up the waters of the lakePlay Caption
Did you see that? If you look at the first two clips, you can see that the adjectives that go after the noun agua are feminine adjectives that end with the vowel "a" (fresca and ionizada). Also, in the third clip, you can see that the term aguas (plural form of agua) is preceded by the feminine definite article "las". So, is agua masculine or feminine?
The answer is very simple: the noun agua is always feminine. However, if you are wondering why we say "el agua" and not "la agua" there is a simple rule you need to keep in mind: If a feminine noun starts with a stressed "a", you need to use the masculine definite article "el". Let's see more feminine nouns that start with a stressed "a":
el águila (the eagle)
el alma (the soul)
Nevertheless, it is important to say that for plural feminine nouns, you need to use the plural feminine definitive article "las":
las aguas (the waters)
las águilas (the eagles)
las almas (the souls)
Finally, keep in mind that if the noun is feminine the adjective needs to be feminine too. For example, let's say that we want to say "the water is dirty." Since water is feminine in Spanish, you need to use the feminine version of the adjective (sucia):
RIGHT - El agua está sucia
WRONG - El agua está sucio
So, there you have it. We hope you learned something useful today and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
¡Hasta la próxima!
In this lesson, we talk about the plural in Spanish. In particular, we talk about the plural when it refers to nouns. Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Do you know the plural form of the following nouns?:
1. Casa (house)
2. Perro (dog)
3. Universidad (university)
4. Lápiz (pencil)
5. Jabalí (wild boar)
6. Análisis (analysis)
If you are not sure about how to make a singular noun plural in Spanish, we invite you to take a look at the following simple rules. While going through these rules, we will be unveiling the plural form of the 6 nouns we included in our quiz. Let's take a look.
- Casa (house) - Casas (houses)
- Estudiante (student) - Estudiantes (students)
- Perro (perro) - Perros (dogs)
Se escucha un perro.
You can hear a dog.Play Caption
Tus perros también son muy bonitos.
Your dogs are very beautiful too.Play Caption
- Papá (dad) - Papás (dads)
- Dominó (domino) - Dominós (dominoes)
- Café (coffee) - Cafés (coffees)
y les voy a mostrar el proceso de control de calidad de café de Colombia.
and I'm going to show you the quality-control process for coffee from Colombia.
Caption 5, Una Historia de Café La BodegaPlay Caption
Cada uno de estos cafés tiene distintas cualidades tanto físicas como sensoriales
Each one of these coffees has different qualities both physically and sensorially.
Caption 14, Una Historia de Café La BodegaPlay Caption
- Bisturí (scalpel) - Bisturíes or bisturís (scalpels)
- Jabalí (wild boar) - Jabalíes or jabalís (wild boars)
- Tabú (taboo) - Tabúes or tabús (taboos)
Generally speaking, however, it is preferred to use the plural formed with 'ES'.
Also, this rule is very common when you are dealing with adjectives of nationality:
- Iraní (Iranian) - Iraníes or iranís (Iranians)
- Árbol (tree) - Árboles (trees)
- Profesor (teacher) - Profesores (teachers)
- Universidad (university) - Universidades (universities)
- Rey (king) - Reyes (kings)
La rata esta es el rey de la estafa por allá en Europa.
This rat is the king con artist over there in Europe.Play Caption
Actualmente es la residencia oficial de los reyes de España,
Currently, it's the official residence of the King and Queen of Spain,
Caption 23, Madrid Un recorrido por la capital de EspañaPlay Caption
Notice that the singular noun árbol has a graphic accent in the second-to-last syllable (palabra grave). However, when you form the plural, the graphic accent moves to the third-to-last-syllable becoming a proparoxytone word (palabra esdrújula). Similarly, singular nouns like profesor and universidad that are stressed in the last syllable (palabras agudas) become paroxytone words (palabras graves) in the plural form.
- Lápiz (pencil) - Lápices (pencils)
- Raíz (root) - Raíces (roots)
- Voz (voice) - Voces (voices)
Tengo muy buena voz,
I have a very good voice,Play Caption
vuelven esas voces a mi cabeza.
those voices come back to my head.Play Caption
Paroxytone or proparoxytone nouns ending in 's' or 'x' keep the same form in plural. Let's see some examples:
- Cactus (cactus) - Cactus (cactuses/cacti)
- Tórax (thorax) - Tórax (thoraxes/thoraces)
- Análisis (analysis) - Análisis (analyses/tests)
y en un análisis de nuestras debilidades, oportunidades, fortalezas y amenazas.
and an analysis of our weaknesses, opportunities, strengths and threats.Play Caption
para hacerle los análisis de sangre, de heces,
to do the blood tests, stool (tests),
Caption 54, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1Play Caption
That's it for now. We hope these rules help you to use the plural in Spanish. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, take 20 nouns and try to form their plural forms. And of course, don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.