Spanish Nouns – Forms of Nouns and Examples

Everything in learning a language comes back to words. The first step in learning Spanish is discovering new words and their meanings. By far the largest group of words are nouns. They have a specific job in sentences and each one is jam packed with meaning. Not only that, but they also connect and match with other words.

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What is a noun in Spanish grammar?

First of all, nouns are the largest group of words in Spanish grammar. Every word fits into one of the eight parts of speech which are:

Grab the lists of the most frequently used Spanish words for each part of speech. They’re a real time saver and make increasing your vocabulary easier than ever.

What is a noun?

All nouns tell about the who, where, or what in a phrase, clause or sentence. They are not always the subject of a sentence. But every sentence has at least one noun. A noun in Spanish is called “el sustantivo” or some say “el nombre” which means name. But sustantivo is the official grammar term.

Spanish Noun Grammar vocabulary

Sustantivo — Noun
Nombre — Noun
Sustantivos — Nouns
Nombres — Nouns
Género — Gender
Masculino — Masculine
Feminino — Feminine
Número — Number
Singular — Singular
Plural — Plural
Artículo — Article

Noun Definition

A noun is a person, place, thing, activity or idea.

What is a noun in Spanish examples?

Nouns are everywhere. We are nouns. Where we go and how we feel are all nouns. As a consequence, it is important to have a strong understanding of how we use them.

Examples of Spanish Nouns

  • person – niña
  • place – parque
  • thing – burbuja
  • activity – juego
  • idea – alegría

Every word can be labelled by their part of speech. Nouns have their own particular grammar rules and exceptions.

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How do you identify a noun in Spanish?

Always, a couple questions tell which words are nouns. Asking who, where or what tells you whether or not a word is a noun in a sentence. One sentence can have many nouns.

¿Quién? — Who?
¿Dónde? — Where?
¿Qué? — What?

For example, this sentence:

— La niña con una pelota en el parque. — The girl plays with a ball in the park.

¿Quién? la niña
¿Dónde? — el parque
¿Qué? — una pelota

What are nouns and articles in Spanish?

Often, nouns have an article in front of it. Most vocabulary lists include the article with the noun. That’s because the article describes the noun. Specifically, the article tells the nouns gender and sometimes number.

el masculine singular
lafeminine singular
losmasculine plural
lasfeminine plural

As shown, every noun is either masculine or feminine. Also, some nouns are either singular or plural which means they are one or more than one.

How do you describe a noun in Spanish?

Furthermore, in addition to the articles, nouns are described with adjectives. The adjectives are a whole different group of words. Their specific job is to describe nouns.

For example, these adjectives describe nouns in Spanish:

la niña preciosa — the cute girl
la pelota roja — the red ball
el parque grande — the big park

First, the noun is followed by the adjective in Spanish. This is opposite to English word order. Also, notice the two connected words match gender and number. This is called noun and adjective agreement.

a man and a woman assisting a girl while jumping

What are the forms of Spanish Nouns?

Overall, individual nouns can be labeled into different noun categories. These labels are helpful to describe nouns, especially for grammar rules and exceptions. All nouns name a person, place, thing, activity or idea.

What kind of noun is Spanish?

Is Spanish a common noun? Spanish is a proper noun that names a specific language.

Hablo español. — I speak Spanish

The word “Spanish” or “español / española” can also be an adjective. This is a word that describes a noun.

Es una guitarra española. — It’s a Spanish guitar.
Él cantante es español. — The singer is Spanish.

What makes this confusing is nouns can be used as an adjective or adverb.

describing spanish nouns

There are several ways to categorize nouns. These are the different ways to describe them by their traits and examples.

nombres masculinos — masculine nouns ornombres femininos — feminine nouns

  • Nouns are assigned their gender
  • Masculine nouns — coche — car
  • Feminine nouns — casa — house

nombres singulares — singular nouns or nombres plurales — plural nouns

  • Nouns have quantities
  • Singular nouns are one — — cat
  • Plural nouns are more than one — gatos — cats

nombres comunes — common nouns ornombres propios — proper nouns

  • Proper nouns are specific — Pirracas — Pirracas
  • Common nouns are general — gato — cat

nombres concretos — concrete nouns vs. — nombres abstractos — abstract nouns

  • Concrete nouns are experienced with the five senses — piel — fur — abrazo — hug
  • Abstract nouns are concept or condition that cannot be experienced with five senses — cariño — affection — felicidad — happiness

nombres colectivos — collective nouns

  • Collective nouns are a group composed of members — familia — family — pareja — couple

nombres compuestos — compound nouns vs. — nombres simples — simple nouns

  • A compound noun has two words joined together — el abrelatas — the can opener

Additionally some nouns are countable or not countable, animate or inanimate and can be grouped together by any number of classes. Some say there are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 types of nouns. That just depends on what kinds of differences you’re looking at. The most important ones are listed above.

man and woman near table

List of Spanish Nouns – How nouns are used in sentences

What are the 4 forms of nouns in Spanish?

Of the greatest importances, is the job a particular noun has in a sentence. There might be several nouns and each one has a different job.

spanish nouns as subjects

Sustantivo sujeto — Subject Noun

  • Subject nouns are the subject of the sentence — El gato corre. — The cat runs.

spanish nouns as objects and complements

All of these nouns have different jobs in the sentence.

Objecto indirecto — Indirect Object — Toca el piano. — He plays the piano.

Objeto directo — Direct Object — Cocino la desayuno — I cook breakfast.

Objeto de la preposición — Object of the Preposition — Voy con mi abuela — I’m going with my grandma.

Predicado nominativo — Predicate Nominative — Soy un buen estudiante — I’m a good student.

Objeto complemento de sustantivo — Object Complement Noun — Me llamo Señora Havana. — I call myself Señora Havana.

What are 10 nouns?

This list of 10 Spanish nouns are a good start for learning Spanish. You’ll run into these words all the time, literally. The ten most frequently used nouns are:

todo — everything
nada — nothing
Dios — God
señor — mister
tiempo — time
verdad — truth
vida — life
persona — person
día — day
cosa — thing

In summary, nouns are a large part of Spanish vocabulary. They can be described in different ways. But by far, the gender and number are the most important features for grammar purposes. Additionally, they all have different jobs in a sentence and connect with other words.

More about Spanish Grammar

Talking about art in Spanish – Spanish Art Words

Noun Gender – Masculine or Feminine?

Setting and Tracking Goals for Language Learners

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