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Is something masculine or feminine by the word we use or what it is intrinsically?

 

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Old January 04, 2011, 08:52 PM
Oso Oso is offline
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Is something masculine or feminine by the word we use or what it is intrinsically?

So I know that female nouns have female descriptors and male nouns male ones. But what happens if you're descibing something that has a different gender? For instance, if I wanted to talk about a girl and say

Su cuerpo fue bajo.

Is it "baja" instead?
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Old January 04, 2011, 08:56 PM
ChilenoAlemanCanada ChilenoAlemanCanada is offline
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Since the adjective is describing cuerpo, a masculine noun, it would be bajo.

Adjective agree with whatever they're describing, so even if you are describing the girl, since the bajo is describing cuerpo, it remains as bajo. Also, the gender of a word only depends on the word itself, not what the word means.
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Last edited by ChilenoAlemanCanada; January 04, 2011 at 09:03 PM.
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Old January 04, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso View Post
So I know that female nouns have female descriptors and male nouns male ones. But what happens if you're descibing something that has a different gender? For instance, if I wanted to talk about a girl and say

Su cuerpo fue bajo.

Is it "baja" instead?
Forget what gender means in English. That word is an unfortunate misnomer. Instead, think about having two types of nouns. A noun is either type 'masculine' or type 'feminine'.

Matching gender is nothing more than making the adjective agree with the noun. In the sentence you wrote, the noun is cuerpo. (It doesn't matter who the cuerpo belongs to.) Bajo agrees with the noun cuerpo, but it isn't the correct adjective to use. The verb tense isn't correct, either.

In a textbook, you're probably taught to use some characteristics to describe yourself, like soy bajo (I'm short). If the noun (subject pronoun) refers to a female, then the adjective would have the feminine ending, instead - soy baja.

As you know, you use ser when you refer to a person's characteristic. If you're describing a characteristic that someone had in the past, you use the imperfect tense instead of the preterite - era baja (she was short).

But, to describe the height of something, like cuerpo in your sentence, you would use corto.

Her body was short.
Su cuerpo era corto.
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