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Spanish Matters - a blog in English and Spanish for those learning the language

This blog is entitled "Spanish Matters", because it does! Matter, that is. If you have committed to living in Spain, you should also make a commitment to learn some Spanish. So this is a blog about matters Spanish, as well as promoting the notion that Spanish does indeed matter. The blog contains articles in both English and Spanish. Don Pablo hopes it will be helpful to those learning the language.

Masculine or feminine?
Thursday, January 13, 2022 @ 3:14 AM

Nouns with different meanings depending on their gender.

We’ve all heard of false friends, words in Spanish that look like English words, but which have a completely different meaning, eg embarazada = pregnant, constipado = suffering with a cold. However, there are a number of Spanish nouns which have a different meaning depending on whether they have the definite article el or la, ie whether they are masculine or feminine.

Here are 30 in alphabetical order:

el calavera

rotter, cad; reveller

la calavera

skull

el cámara

cameraman

la cámara

camera; chamber

el canguro

kangaroo

la cangura

female babysitter

el capital

capital (money)

la capital

capital city

el caza

fighter plane

la caza

hunting

el clave

harpsichord

la clave

code; clef (music)

el cólera

cholera

la cólera

anger, rage

el corte

cut

la corte

court (royal); entourage

el crisma

christmas card

la crisma

chrism (rel); nut (head)

el cura

priest

la cura

cure

el defensa

defender

la defensa

defence

el editorial

editorial

la editorial

publishing company

el espada

matador

la espada

sword

el final

end; finale

la final

the final (sport)

el frente

front

la frente

forehead

el gallina

(male) coward

la gallina

hen

el guardia

policeman, guardsman

la guardia

guard, police

el lila

llac (colour); twit, wimp

la lila

lilac (flower)

el mariquita

poof (homosexual)

la mariquita

ladybird

el mayor

male adult

la mayor

female adult

el orden

order (in a series)

la orden

order (command)

el papa

the Pope

la papa

potato

el parte

report

la parte

part

el pelota

creep

la pelota

ball

el pez

fish (living)

la pez

tar

el policía

policeman

la policía

the police

el radio

radius

la radio

radio

el té

tea

la te

T (the letter)

el veleta

fickle person

la veleta

weathervane

el vocal

member; director; chairman

la vocal

vowel

 

The Spanish language is complicated, yet fascinating, isn't it?

Hasta luego.

Don Pablo



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