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invariable, requiring no addition in the plural; and the following
nouns are used only in the plural :
NOTE.--I have placed the nouns in their singular form; the pupil must put them in the plural where requisite. Let him also remember what I said in the First Lesson concerning the repetition of the article before each noun.
The tables and chairs. The cities, houses, and carriages of mesa, f. y silla, f.
casa, f. y coche, m. and books on the table. y libro, m.
applauses of the people. The kings and princes of the aplauso, m.
earth. The uncles, aunts, and cousins of the youth. With tierra, f.
joven. the sons and daughters of the inhabitants of the village.
The poets, prophets, and patriarchs of
parks and gardens of the nobility. parque, m. jardin, m.
On the fruits and flowers of the country. The inns
fruta, f. road. With the friends and critics of the author. For the
camino, m. booksellers of the province. The men with their wives and
oxen. The horses, sheep, and lambs in the fields.
With the grammars
and dictionaries in the school. For the beggars in the street.
With the songs of the birds and the voices of the
children. The games of the people in the squares and parks.
niño. On the roofs of the houses and churches.
ON GENDER, AS APPLIED TO NOUNS.
THE Spanish grammar admits but the masculine and feminine gender; that convenient third division which is made use of in English to classify inanimate objects, and which is called the neuter gender, is unknown to the Spanish language. Not only animals of the male and female kind, therefore, belong to these two genders, but all things, without exception, must be classified in the same way. As the form of the article, the termination of the adjective, and the variation of the pronoun and participle, in some cases, depend upon the gender of the noun, you may imagine of what importance it is to get this gender correct, for, should you make a mistake in this particular, your whole phrase must be wrong.
In impressing on you, nevertheless, the importance of determining the gender of the noun, I must admit the difficulty of giving you rules, whereby at first sight this gender may be known. So many exceptions hang about every rule of the kind, that, far from facilitating, they only embarrass the learner. Reading, attention, and, above all, the use of your dictionary, will be your instructors; and so imperceptibly does the memory seize upon little peculiarities of this kind, that, from my own experience, I can assert, that it is no difficult matter to bear in mind the genders of the nouns of half-a-dozen languages at once, though each tongue reckons some thousands of substantives.
A remark or two may, in spite of this, be useful; and, therefore, endeavour to bear in mind that all names of trades, employments, and professions proper to men are masculine, as well as all titles and dignities, though they may have a feminine termination, viz. an a,-for words ending in a are generally feminine, as those which terminate in o are masculine.
Again, all employments, &c., proper to women are feminine, as well as the names of arts and sciences; with few exceptions, nouns terminating in d and ion are likewise feminine; whilst words which end in 7, n, are for the most part masculine. Remember that I do not give you these rules as infallible guides; very far from it; I would rather you used your
dictionary than trusted to them. But I would not pass the matter over, all-important as it is, without endeavouring to smooth your path; but the long array of exceptions following every rule attempted to be set down in many grammars as general, ought to make you doubtful, not merely of their infallibility, but their usefulness.
fruit on the tree. The pictures on the wall. The cap
populacho. the students. The equity of the judge.
the prisoners. The courage of the enemy.
prisionero the lessons.
The utility of
The doctrine of the schools. The tenderness of
leccion. the mother. The obedience of the son.
The prudence of prudencia
the servants. The fear of death. The hope
of life. The
mouse in the cupboard. The lion in the desert. The ink
The dog with the boy. The birds in the
The love of prudence. The temperance of the youth. The
generosity of the friend. The pleasure of friendship. The
goodness of the old man. The sense of good and evil. The
actions of the priest. The walls of the garden.
The belfry campanario of the church. The study of the artist. The hand of the
iglesia. mano, f. lady. The instruments of the dentist. The law and authority
of the monarch. The genius of the poet and painter. The
pintor. wisdom of the lawyer and moralist. The urbanity of the
duke. The knowledge of the prophets and patriarchs.
systems of the philosophers. The idioms of the language.
THE Spanish language, like the English, does not mark the cases of its nouns by means of a change of termination, but by the addition of the prepositions de, of; á, to; por, by; thus, the proper noun Madrid is declined in this manner :