This can be quite confusing for everyone at the start. Unlike in English, many languages have a masculine and feminine form of nouns or adjectives. In this section, we’ll focus primarily on nouns.
GENDERS OF FRENCH NOUNS
In French, nouns are divided into masculine and feminine singular and masculine and feminine plural. So, how do you work out which is which?
Masculine nouns often have “le” in front of them.
Feminine nouns often have “la” in front of them.
HOWEVER, if the noun begins with a vowel or a “h”, the noun usually has “l’ ” (this is because a “h” is silent in French- don’t ask why…)
If a noun is plural (that is to say, there’s more than one of it- e.g, the shoes), it often has “les” in front of it, no matter what gender the noun is.
- Le verre- The glass
- La gomme- The rubber
- L’hôtel- The hotel
- Les enfants- The children
If you want to say “A…” you must use either un (for masculine nouns) or une (for feminine nouns).
- Un chien- A dog
- Une robe- A dress
GENDERS OF SPANISH NOUNS
Similar to French, Spanish nouns are divided into masculine and feminine singular or masculine and feminine plural.
A masculine noun usually has “el” in front of it. (It’s just “le” backwards, if that helps you remember.)
A feminine noun usually has “la” in front of it.
Plural nouns follow slightly different rules to French nouns.
If the noun is masculine plural, you use “los” before it.
If the noun is feminine plural, you use “las” before it.
- El diccionario- The dictionary
- La mujer- The woman
- Los zapatos- The shoes
- Las tijeras- The scissors
If you want to say “A…” in Spanish, you can use un (for masculine nouns) or una (for feminine nouns). You can use unos in front of masculine plural nouns to say “some”, and you can use unas for feminine plural nouns to say “some.”
- Un bolígrafo- A pen
- Una goma- A rubber
- Unos lápices- Some pencils
- Unas calculadoras- Some calculators.