A noun is a word that
concrete (e.g., a chair, a dog) or abstract
(an idea, happiness).
In Spanish, all nouns have a
gender - they are either masculine or feminine. It is very important
to learn a noun's gender
along with the noun itself because definite
articles, indefinite articles,
adjectives, and pronouns have to
agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the
gender of the noun they modify or replace. The
gender of some nouns makes sense (hombre [man] is
masculine, mujer [woman] is feminine) but others don't (persona
[person] is always feminine, even if the person is a man!) The best way to learn
gender of nouns is to make your vocabulary
lists with the definite or indefinite article. That is,
Rather than lists
make lists like this...
libro = book
flor = flower
un libro = book
una flor = flower
so that you learn the gender
with the noun. The gender is part of
the noun and you will be much better off learning it now, as a beginner,
than trying to go back after years of study and memorizing the genders of
all the words you've already learned (I speak from experience).
There are some tendencies in the
of nouns, but there are always exceptions. I will list the patterns
that I have noticed, but please don't use these as a way to avoid learning the
genders of nouns - just learn each word as gender + noun and then
you'll know them forever.