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femenine and masculine


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Old September 12, 2007, 05:23 PM
Grammar Man Grammar Man is offline
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femenine and masculine

Any tips on how to remember which nouns are masculine and femenine and which ones can be either?
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Old September 13, 2007, 11:09 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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I believe everyone would agree that learning the gender of Spanish nouns is best done by memorization, after consulting a dictionary. There are general rules that apply well to a great many words, but there are exceptions to the rules.

When I hear a noun used for the first time, I make a mental note of what gender was attached to it by the speaker so that I can immediately use it again in the same vein. Later, I consult a dictionary to learn the definite articles associated with the noun. Without this step, I would mistakenly say 'los aguas' when trying to guess at the plural for 'el agua'. A dictionary lookup is an absolute must if the noun names a person or an animate object, because both the masculine and feminine forms need to be memorized.
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Old September 14, 2007, 11:29 AM
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I agree with Rusty. There are rules to help you such as if the word ends in 'a' it's feminine and 'o' is masculine. But there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so it's best to memorize and make sure you look the words up as well so you don't memorize them wrong.
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Old September 17, 2007, 08:42 AM
Grammar Man Grammar Man is offline
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I appreciate the help.
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