Masculine or feminine? Dare to pick one

by Patricia Mendez on Thursday, December 27, 2018

Spanish is a pretty complex language. But if there is one thing that confuses everyone who dives into this language, that is the gender of words.

Click here if you want to read this post in Spanish and make the most of it to learn.

The common thing is to believe that masculine words end with -o and feminine ones end with -a.

Very well.

This may work with words like perro / perra or hermano / hermana. But… what happens with words like bola if there is no way to find their masculine form?

That is what we are talking about today. By using some examples, we hope to make it easier for you to learn a Spanish gender issues.

  • You probably already know what a caballo (horse) is. But what is the name of its female version? Yegua! Caballa exists, but it is a very popular kind of fish in Spain.

  • The surface you walk on is suelo (floor), but suela is the undersurface of a shoe, the one that touches the floor. Couldn’t have said it better!

  • We are attending a wedding in Spain and we find out that the bride’s head is covered by a velo. However, a vela is a piece of wax with a wick that is set aflame. But… be careful! A vela can also be the piece of fabric by means of which the wind propels a ship. Completely different…

  • We all know that the body limb that ends with the hand is called brazo. But braza has nothing to do with anatomy. A braza equals two meters (around six feet) and is used to mark distances on the sea.

  • Summer is very warm in Spain. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a granizado. It is a very tasty drink, made of ice pieces. However, if you find yourself in a granizada, you better run! It is a meteorological phenomenon by which ice chunks fall from the sky, mixed with rain.

  • A bolso is a receptacle that hangs from the shoulder and serves for carrying money and other small things. But if you carry a bolsa instead, what you have is a small fabric or plastic sack with handles to go shopping.

As you can see, the Spanish vocabulary is very interesting and diverse. It has all kind of surprises and changes you can’t expect.

We have just learned that there is a huge difference in meaning between many masculine and feminine words.


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