when to use "la" and "el"

when to use "la" and "el"


why is "el sofá" correct and "la sofá" isn't?

updated NOV 13, 2009
posted by Siuchung
welcome to the forum - nizhoni1, NOV 12, 2009

3 Answers


Because some things just are in a language. Even though it ends in an -a it is determined to be a masculine noun.

updated NOV 12, 2009
posted by nizhoni1

link text

Words that break the gender rule

el aroma — aroma

el Canadá — Canada

el clima — climate

el cólera — cholera (but la cólera, anger)

el cometa — comet (but la cometa, kite)

el cura — priest (but la cura, cure)

el día — day

el diagrama — diagram

el dilema — dilemma

el diploma — diploma

la disco — disco (short for la discoteca)

el drama — drama

el enigma — enigma

el esquema — outline, diagram

la foto — photo (short for la fotografía)

el guardia — policeman or male guard (but la guardia, vigilance)

el guía — male guide (but la guía, guidebook or female guide)

el idioma — language

el idiota — male idiot (but la idiota, female idiot)

el indígena — indigenous male (but la indígena,

indigenous female)

la mano — hand

el mapa — map

la modelo — female model (but el modelo, male model)

el morfema — morpheme

la moto — motorcycle (short for la motocicleta)

el panorama — panorama, outlook

el papa — the pope (but la papa, potato)

el poema — poem

el policía — policeman (but la policía, police force or policewoman)

el planeta — planet

el problema — problem

el programa — program

el quechua — Quechua language

la radio — radio (short for la radiodifusión; but el radio, radius or radium; usage of the feminine form depends on the region)

el reuma, el reúma — rheumatism

la reo — female criminal (but el reo, male criminal)

el síntoma — symptom, sign

el sistema — system

el sofá — sofa

la soprano — female soprano (but el soprano, male soprano)

el tanga — G-string

el teorema — theorem

el telegrama — telegram

el tema — theme, subject

la testigo — female witness (but el testigo, male witness)

el tranvía — streetcar

updated NOV 16, 2009
edited by 0068e2f4
posted by 0068e2f4

Hi Siuchung: Welcome to the forum. I see you have taken some Spanish lessons already. This website has a lot of features to help you learn Spanish. Videos, grammar articles, etc. Please read the forum rules for posting questions in the future. Good Luck.

updated NOV 12, 2009
posted by 0068e2f4
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