If you were to think that masculine nouns in Spanish are often combined with talking about men and feminine nouns whenever talking about females, your presumption would be incorrect — especially when dealing with pets.
The names for nearly all animals are either masculine or feminine like most nouns. For instance, the term for giraffe, jirafa is feminine, and it may be utilized when talking about any giraffe, whether female or male. Likewise, rinoceronte is masculine, and it may be employed to relate to rhinoceroses of either sex.
Exactly the same is performed with individuals. El humano (human) is masculine even though talking about a girl or woman, and la persona (individual) is feminine even if talking about a person or kid.
Pets With Sex-Differentiated Names
Some pets have various names for every intercourse. As an example, a perro is a male dog, and a perra is a lady dog or bitch. The names don’t need to be therefore comparable: a cow is una vaca, while a bull is un toro, despite the fact that they make reference to the exact same types of animal. As in these examples, it’s quite common, while not universal, for pets with sex-differentiated names in Spanish to have names that are differentiated English too.
Various other animals with various names when it comes to sexes are:
- el lagarto (male lizard), la lagarta (feminine lizard)
- el elefante (male elephant), la elefanta (feminine elephant)
- el caballo (stallion), la yegua (mare)
- el carnero (ram), la oveja (sheep)
- el gallo (rooster), la gallina (hen)
- el macho (billy goat), la cabra (nanny goat)
Generally speaking, the masculine type can be looked at as the standard title for the form of types. Hence if you do not understand whether a pet is man or woman, it is fine to refer to it as un gato. But a pet regarded as female may be known as una gata.
Sets of pets
When it comes to pets whoever names differ with all the sex, they should be referred to by the masculine plural: thus los gatos or los perros if you have a group of animals, some female and some male. If the title regarding the animal is invariably feminine, the womanly must nevertheless be utilized: las jirafas (even for a group of men) or las araсas (spiders). In an exceedingly few instances when each intercourse includes a various name — they include vaca, cabra, and oveja — the feminine kind may be pluralized to express an organization. (the exact same can be real in English, as cattle might informally be known as cows regardless of if bulls are element of the mix.)
If you need to suggest the intercourse of a animal by having a undifferentiated title, you can include the term macho for male or hembra for feminine:
- la jirafa hembra, the feminine giraffe
- la jirafa macho, the male giraffe
- el dinosaurio macho, the dinosaur that is male
- el dinosaurio hembra, the feminine dinosaur
Keep in mind that macho and hembra, nonetheless, are typically regarded as either nouns or adjectives that are invariable. Therefore they don’t differ in kind with sex or quantity:
- las jirafas hembra, the giraffes that are female
- las jirafas macho, the giraffes that are male
Although dealing with macho and hembra as invariable adjectives is the grammatically safe thing to do, in true to life speakers usually make sure they are plural. You need to adhere to the traditional type in formal writing, nonetheless.
Whenever talking about pets with individual names (such as for instance animals), you should utilize adjectives whoever sex fits the provided title associated with the animal when working with that title since the topic of the sentence: