Gender Exceptions

Género gramatical: excepciones

Gender in Spanish
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One of the first things that Spanish students learn is that most Spanish nouns that end in -o are masculine and most that end in -a are feminine. Here are the exceptions to this rule.

Feminine nouns that end in -o

la dinamo   dynamo
la disco*   disco
la foto*   photo 
la Gestapo   Gestapo
la libido   libido
la magneto   magneto
la mano   hand 
la moto*   motorcycle 
la polio   polio
la porno*   pornography
la radio*   radio

 * These words are shortened from words that do end in A: discoteca, fotografía, motocicleta, pornografía, and radiodifusión.

Masculine nouns that end in -a

el aroma   aroma, scent
el Canadá   Canada
el clima   climate 
el cometa   comet 
el cura   priest
el diagrama   diagram, outline
el dilema   dilemma
el diploma   diploma
el drama   drama
el día   day
el enigma   enigma
el esquema   outlne
el fantasma   ghost
el idioma   language 
el mapa   map
el morfema   morpheme
el panorama   panorama
el planeta   planet
el poema   poem
el problema   problem
el programa   program
el síntoma   symptom
el sistema   system
el sofá    sofa
el tanga   thong, G-string
el telegrama   telegram
el teorema   theorem
el tema   theme
el tranvía   streetcar
el trauma   trauma

Also see my lesson on the stressed A, which causes feminine nouns to take the masculine article.

Spanish quizzes Gender Quizzes

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the gender of Spanish nouns:

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Spanish gender exceptions