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The noun. Beginner level

The noun. Beginner level



INTRODUCTION

In this unit we’ll talk about the sustantivo (the noun). It’s also sometimes referred to as the nombre. We’ll dedicate a section to explaining in simple terms the gender and number of the noun and its accompanying article. The goal in this first unit is to give you a general view of the noun in Spanish.

CONTENTS

1. The noun | 2. Gender of the noun | 3. Number

THE NOUN (SUSTANTIVO)

Definition:The sustantivo (noun) is the word used to name people, animals, things, and ideas. For example: niño (child), mesa (table), árbol (tree), amor (love), verdad (truth). In Spanish, the sustantivo (noun) is characterized by the morfemas (morphemes) of gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural). For example: niño, niños (boy, boys); mesa, mesas (table, tables); árbol, árboles (tree, trees); amor, amores (love, loves); verdad, verdades (truth, truths). The sustantivo (noun) is accompanied by determinants and adjectives that agree in gender and number: la niña alegre (the happy girl), la mesa roja (the red table), los libros de matemáticas (the math books), la filosofía de Platón (Plato’s philosophy)…

Function of the sustantivo (noun): The most important word in the sintagma nominal (noun phrase). Normally, it functions as the sujeto (subject) or the complemento directo (direct object): Juan come manzanas (Juan eats apples), el niño tiene un perro (the boy has a dog).

GENDER OF THE NOUN

The género (gender) of the sustantivos (nouns) can be motivated by the sex of the predicate it refers to, which can be masculine or feminine (the neutral gender doesn’t exist in Spanish): gato (female cat), gata (male cat), niña (girl), niño (boy). As opposed to other languages, like English, in Spanish we can recognize the gender of a noun whose gender is determined by the article: el clima (the climate), la mano (the hand).

In masculino (masculine) we find the following morphemes: -o, -e, -?

a) Most of the names ending in –o: perro (dog), saco (sack), cesto (hamper), niño (boy), olmo (elm tree), chopo (black poplar), patio (patio), año (year), abanico (fan), fuego (fire), libro (book), queso (cheese), suelo (floor).

b) Some nouns ending in –e: coche (car), puente (bridge).

c) Some nouns with the morpheme -?: amor (love), honor (honor),
ordenador (computer), sol (sun).

d) Some nouns that end in –a: día (day), clima (climate), idioma
(language).

The following nouns are usually masculine::

  • Names of airplanes, boats and cars: Titanic, Mercedes.
  • Colors: el blanco (white), el rojo (red), el negro (black), el azul (blue), el verde (green), el amarillo (yellow).
  • Days of the week: lunes (Monday), martes (Tuesday), miércoles (Wednesday), jueves (Thursday), viernes (Friday), sábado (Saturday) and domingo (Sunday).
  • The months of the year: enero (January), febrero (February), marzo (March), abril (April), mayo (Mayo), junio (June), julio (July), etc…
  • Numbers: uno (one), dos (two), tres (three), veinte (twenty), etc…
  • The four cardinal directions: norte (north), sur (south), este (east), oeste (west).

To form the femenino (feminine), we substitute the morphemes of the masculino (masculine) for –a.

a) Nouns ending in –a: niña (girl), mesa (table), silla (chair), alegría
(happiness).

b) Some nouns ending in –e: madre (mother), nave (ship).

c) Nouns ending in -ción, -sión, -d: canción (song), decisión (decision), amabilidad (amiability).

The following nouns are usually feminine::

  • The hours: la una (one o’clock), las tres de la tarde (three in the afternoon).
  • The letters of the alphabet: la m (“m”), la p (“p”), la a (“a”), etc…
  • Some of the names of flowers: la margarita (the daisy), la rosa (the rose); most vegetables: las espinacas (spinach); and most fruits: manzana (apple), fresa (strawberry), naranja (orange), etc…

In Spanish there are a series of sustantivos invariables (invariable nouns) that can be used both in masculino and femenino. They can be recognized because they go along with an artículo (article) (el, la/los, las). Ex: el/la artista (the male / female artist), el/la tenista (the male / female tennis player), el/la cantante (the male / female singer), el/la policía (the male / female police officer), el/la joven (the young man / woman), el/la testigo (the male / female witness), el/ la modelo (the male / female model).

Nouns with a change of gender in masculino and femenino have a different meaning:

  • El cámara (the camera man / woman); la cámara (the camera)
  • El capital (money, capital); la capital (political capital)
  • El cura (the priest); la cura (the cure)
  • El guía (the guide-person); la guía (the guidebook)
  • El pendiente (earing); la pendiente (slope)

Irregular cases in the formation of the feminine:

  • Actor (actor); actriz (actress)
  • Alcalde (male mayor); alcaldesa (female mayor)
  • El bailarín (male dancer); la bailarina (female dancer)
  • Emperador (emperor); emperatriz (empress)
  • Héroe (male hero); heroína (female hero)
  • Príncipe (prince); princesa (princess)
  • Rey (king); reina (queen)
  • Tigre (tiger); tigresa (tigress)

NUMBER

The morfemas (morphemes) in Spanish are formed by the opposition of one (singular) and more than one (plural).

An –s is added to form the plural.

Examples: Niña/niñas (girl/girls); Coche/coches (car/cars); Mesa /mesas (table/tables).

  • The nouns ending in –s form the plural with -es: país/países (country/countries).
  • The nouns ending in any consonant except –s form the plural -es: ciudad/ciudades (city/cities), césped/céspedes (grass/grasses); cristal/ cristales (glass/glasses); peral/ perales (pear tree/pear trees); camión/ camiones (truck/trucks); león/ leones (lion/lions); mujer/ mujeres (woman/women); mar/ mares (sea/seas); lápiz/ lápices (pencil/pencils).

Special cases:

  • The nouns ending in –s that don’t change in the plural: la crisis/las crisis (the crisis/the crisises).
  • Some nouns only use the plural: las  tijeras (the scissors), las pinzas (the tweezers), las gafas (the glasses).
  • There are nouns that are only used in the singular: la salud (health), la soledad (solitude), la sed (thirst), el caos (chaos), la tolerancia (tolerance).*las saludes,* las sedes,* los caos

 

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INTRODUCCIÓN

Los sustantivos denominados también "nombres". El sustantivo en español posee género (masculino o femenino) y número (singular o plural).

CONTENIDO

1. El Sustantivo | 2. Género del Sustantivo | 3. Número

EL SUSTANTIVO

Definición: El sustantivo es la palabra con la que nombramos a las personas, animales, cosas e ideas o conceptos. Por ejemplo: niño, mesa, árbol, amor, verdad. En español, el nombre se caracteriza por los morfemas de género (masculino y femenino) y número (singular y plural): Por ejemplo: niño, niños; mesa, mesas; árbol, árboles; amor, amores; verdad, verdades. El sustantivo va acompañado de determinantes y adjetivos que concuerdan en género y número: la niña alegre, la mesa roja, los libros de matemáticas, la filosofía de Platón...

Función del sustantivo: es el núcleo del sintagma nominal. Normalmente cumple la función de sujeto o complemento directo: Juan come manzanas, el niño tiene un perro.

EL GÉNERO

El género de los sustantivos puede estar motivado por el sexo del referente, que puede ser masculino o femenino (no existe el género neutro en español): gato, gata, niña, niño. A diferencia de otras lenguas, como el inglés, en español podemos reconocer el género de un sustantivo (cuyo género no es motivado) mediante el artículo: el clima, la mano.

En masculino podemos encontrar los morfemas: -o, -e, -?

a) La mayoría de los nombres acabados en -o: perro, saco, cesto, niño, olmo, chopo, patio, año, abanico, fuego, libro, queso, suelo, patio

b) Algunos nombres acabados en -e: coche, puente

c) Algunos nombres terminan en consonante: amor, honor, ordenador, sol

d) Algunos sustantivos que acaban en -a: día, clima, idioma

Generalmente son masculinos:

  • Los nombres de aviones, barco y coches: Titanic, mercedes.
  • Los colores: el blanco, el rojo, el negro, el azul, el verde, el amarillo.
  • Los días de la semana: lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado y domingo.
  • Los meses del año: enero, febrero, marzo, abril, mayo, junio, julio...
  • Los números: uno, dos tres, veinte...
  • Los puntos cardinales: norte, sur, este, oeste

Para formar el femenino sustituimos los morfemas del masculino por -a

a) Los nombres acabados en -a: niña, mesa, silla, alegría

b) Algunos sustantivos acabados en -e: madre, nave

c) Sustantivos con la terminación: -ción, -sión, -d -: canción, decisión, amabilidad.

Generalmente tienen género femenino:

  • Las horas: la una, las tres de la tarde.
  • Las letras del alfabeto: la m, la p, la a...
  • Algunos nombres de flores: la margarita, la rosa, y la mayoría de verduras: las espinacas, las frutas: manzana, fresa, naranja...

En español hay una serie de sustantivos invariables que pueden utilizarse tanto en masculino como en femenino. Los reconocemos porque llevan un artículo (el, la/los, las).Ejemplo: el/la artista, el/la tenista, el/la cantante, el/la policía, el/la joven, el/la testigo, el/ la modelo

Sustantivos con cambio de género en masculino y femenino: tienen un significado distinto:

  • El cámara la cámara
  • El capital la capital
  • El cura la cura
  • El guía la guía
  • El pendiente la pendiente

Casos irregulares para formar el femenino:

  • Actor actriz
  • Alcalde alcaldesa
  • El bailarín la bailarina
  • Emperador emperatriz
  • Héroe heroína
  • Príncipe princesa
  • Rey reina
  • Tigre tigresa

EL NÚMERO

Los morfemas de número se forman por la oposición de uno (singular) frente a más de uno (plural).

Se añade una -s para formar el plural.

Ejemplos: Niña/niñas; Coche/coches; Mesa /mesas.

  • Los sustantivos terminados en -s forman el plural con -es: país/países.
  • Los sustantivos acabados en cualquier consonante que no sea -s forman el plural -es: ciudad/ciudades, césped/céspedes; cristal/ cristales; peral/ perales; camión/ camiones; león/ leones; mujer/ mujeres; mar/ mares; lápiz/ lápices

Casos especiales:

  • Los sustantivos acabados en -s que no cambia en el plural: la crisis/las crisis
  • Algunos sustantivos sólo se usan en plural: las tijeras, las pinzas, las gafas
  • Hay nombre que sólo se utilizan en singular: la salud, la soledad, la sed, el caos, la tolerancia.*las saludes,* las sedes,* los caos

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