Thursday, December 1, 2016

FEMININE AND MASCULINE IN PORTUGUESE

Hello everybody! Let's see now some basic topics about feminine and masculine in Portuguese.

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Like other Latin languages, in Portuguese nouns are either masculine or feminine, and the adjectives and articles that qualify them have to match their number and gender.

English native speakers always tell me about how insane is the idea that places, animals, things, feelings and everything has a gender. Well I know... but as I said before all descriptive adjectives and articles of a noun must to agree in gender with this ackward. So let’s talk about some general ways to recognize if a noun is masculine or feminine.

NOTE: If you need review some concepts about Portuguese articles you can click this link: Portuguese Definite and Indefinite Articles .

Some nouns have their masculine and feminine form...

Usually, masculine nouns end in "O" and feminine nouns end in "A". Many of them has two forms in order to indicate the gender, they have the same root and change the termination. The table bellow shows some common nouns and their proper articles:

Masculine Form Respective Feminine Form
o menino
o gato
o aluno
a menina
a gata
a aluna

You will notice that even masculine nouns that don't end in "O" have their respective feminine form. But these nouns present different standards that help to form their feminine form and usually they end with "A". The table bellow will show some examples.

Masculine Form Respective Feminine Form
capitão
valentão
cantor
vendedor
lavador
mestre
monge
juiz
camponês
capitã
valentona
cantora
vendedora
lavadeira
mestra
monja
juíza
camponesa

NOTE: Please notice that I always highlight the word "usually" as Portuguese has a lot of "exceptions". There are many "rules" for feminine version of masculine nouns that don't end in "O". These topic is quite complex and it's hard to find material in English for it. If you are comfortable in reading short articles in Portuguese, you can try to read this article in Internet: http://www.infoescola.com/portugues/flexao-de-genero-nos-substantivos/. If you are not prepared yet, don't worry, by now you can focus on master this basic information in this article.


Some nouns have only one form, but they still have a gender...

Some nouns, usually things/objects have only one form, either masculine either feminine. In these cases you need to memorize the gender and you will be able to use the proper agreement. Let's see some examples:

They have only masculine Form They have only feminine Form
o sabão
o carro
o colchão
o macarrão
a espuma
a mesa
a colcha
a salada



You know Portuguese always has exceptions...

An important point is to notice that I said "let’s talk about some general ways to recognize if a noun is masculine or feminine.", I never said about rules. And if the "O/A" termination was a rule, here you can see some exceptions:

They have only masculine Form They have only feminine Form
O problema
O programa
O guarda-roupa
Ao
A lição

Also you will notice that are many words that end in other letters (not "O" and neither "A"). In these cases you will memorize the gender by the time.


Even more special cases...

There are some nouns that have only one form for both genders. And we only are able to know the gender in the phrase by verifying the article. The table bellow shows some examples:

Masculine Form Respective Feminine Form
o capitalista
o estudante
o cliente
o jornalista
o jovem
a capitalista
a estudante
a cliente
a jornalista
a jovem


There are some nouns that we consider they don't have any gender. But as we always need to agree the article and adjectives, they have fixed "fake" genders. Let's see some examples:

They have only masculine form They have only feminine form
o indivíduo
o cônjuge
a criança
a testemunha
a pessoa


Some animals names don't change from masculine to feminine versions. We only add the words "MACHO" [male] or "FÊMEA" [female] to indicate the gender. See some examples:

Masculine Form Respective Feminine Form
a cobra macho
o crocodilo macho
o peixe macho
o pinguim macho
a águia macho
a aranha macho
a baleia macho
o besouro macho
a borboleta macho
o jacaré macho
a mosca macho
o mosquito macho
a tartaruga macho
a cobra fêmea
o crocodilo fêmea
a peixe fêmea
o pinguim fêmea
a águia fêmea
a aranha fêmea
a baleia fêmea
o besouro fêmea
a borboleta fêmea
o jacaré fêmea
a mosca fêmea
o mosquito fêmea
a tartaruga fêmea







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