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In Spanish is Agua Masculine or Feminine?

by Dave Clark

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August 9th, 2011

Hola Amigos!

Here’s a question from one of our Visual Link Spanish users:


In one of your lessons I found the following. Agua is masculine because
it starts with “A”. Can you explain this for me please?
Thanks Glenn


The word “agua” is a feminine word, however, you have to use “el” instead of “la” in front of it becaue Spanish doesn’t like to have two “a”s together when one is at the end of the word “la”. In other words, “la – agua” is bad. (When the King of Spanish invented Spanish he just hated the sound of “la” followed by a word that starts with “a”. So, he decreed, “la” has to change to “el” –> “el agua”. However, “agua” is still a feminine word (because it ends in “a”).  Interestingly, if you make it plural, the article becomes feminine as it should be – “las aguas” and “unas aguas” (they don’t have to be changed since there aren’t two “a”s together.

Now, get this, here’s the wierd exception to the rule, the King of Spanish was off his rocker when he made this exception. If a feminine word that starts with an “a” has 3 syllables, and the first one is accented, then it’s ok to put “la” in front of it. Example: “la águila”. Go figure!

So, I realize I got a bit technical there, but hopefully that makes sense.

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