Grammar

Learn About Spanish Singular Nouns Ending in -o

One of the first things you should know when learning Spanish is that we distinguish words not only by their number (singular or plural), but also by their gender (masculine or feminine). Today, we’ll focus especially on singular nouns ending in -o. Ready?

Whenever you come across an -o ending, it’s usually because the gender of that word is masculine (there are always exceptions). Let’s look at some examples and their translations:

NounsTranslations
CarroCar
MundoWorld
SemáforoTraffic light
CerebroBrain
ColegioSchool
NiñoBoy
CabelloHair
ConejoRabbit

Matching gender 

It’s important to understand that in Spanish, all words must agree with their gender (and also number). This means that when masculine nouns are accompanied by direct modifiers (adjectives), the latter will also have the same ending. Let’s consider the following sentences:

Tip: Click on any of the linked sentences in this article (while on a mobile) to add them directly to your Fluent Forever app, so you can study them later. Don’t have our app yet? Download it here!

Note: Here we can see three different masculine singular nouns ending with -o. Notice that huevo (egg) is modified by the adjective frito (fried), which coincides in gender by the -o ending.

That’s un huevo frito right there!
Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Once again, you can notice another case of gender matching, since the singular noun desayuno (breakfast) has the same ending as the adjective bueno (great).

Learn some more examples

Note: In this sentence, pastel (cake) is a masculine noun exception that lacks the -o ending.

Generally, the word polvo (powder) serves the function of a masculine noun. But in this particular example, it is acting as an adjective that agrees in gender with pimiento (pepper).

Here, vaso (glass), jugo (juice), and desayuno (breakfast) play the role of masculine singular nouns as they end in -o.

And that rounds up our session on Spanish singular nouns ending in -o!



Written by Nicole Oliveira

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