Spanish words which change the meaning when changing the gender Gender is important in Spanish, as important as in some cases changes in the gender mean change in the meaning too

Hola amigos y amigas 🙂

If you have been studying Spanish for a while, or even if you have not been studying long at all you might know that Spanish noun have genders, and all the words in the same sentences need to match so it makes sense, normally nouns have a masculine and a feminine version so when you talk depending if you are talking about women or men they change, I mean they have the same meaning, they just change the gender so they tell us who they are talking about (men or women) that is why gender is so important, but also it is important because sometimes when we change the gender the words mean something totally different.

So I thought I could give you a few words to keep in mind and write down on your Spanish  notebook so you do not mess them up.



Spanish words which change the meaning when changing the gender

So introduction been made, let’s have a look to the words for today,

The first one and probably the most popular, known by most of you is

1- El cuento versus la cuenta,
















El cuento means a tale and la cuenta means….the bill!!So watch out not asking for cuentas-bills when you are looking for cuentos-tales (ok….not that funny as I thought it would be :S)

2-El punto versus la punta
















When we say el punto we mean several things, most common meaning is point, but sometimes can be a full stop if we are talking about spelling/orthography or at times point when talking to someone and we want to make that, a point J or even a dot when talking about something small,  while if we say la punta we are talking about a sharp end or even just the end or the top of something :S

3-El suelo versus la suela
















The common meaning for el suelo, as you probably know is the ground, but if we change the gender and say la suela we are actually talking about the sole of our shoes, ups!

4-El cero versus la cera
















El cero, yes, it sounds familiar doesn’t it? It is the number zero, but la cera means something a bit different, it is wax, told you wasn’t exactly the same 🙂

5-El tango versus la tanga
















El tango as many of you will know it is a traditional Argentinean dance, but la tanga, you might not know but a lot of you will know if I write la (braga) tanga instead 😉 it is underwear for women, aka thong in English

And to finish off for today, another about the differences you might have heard about

6-El bolso versus la bolsa
















El bolso is that thing used by women, sometimes for men too to keep everything in it 🙂 have a guess! Yes…it is a handbag while la bolsa is just a simple bag.

-WATCH OUT la bolsa if we are talking about money/finance refers to the stock market, I know…confusing…but who said Spanish was simple??


I think you have enough info today to keep your Spanish learning exciting 🙂

NOW -It is your turn, if you like the post and find it useful do not keep it as a secret, share the Spanish word around, and as usual I would love to hear from you,

-what are you insights/take away from this post, did you know these words?

-Surprised by any of the meaning above?

-Do you know any other which mean different when we change the gender?


-HOMEWORK I know it is summer, so let’s take it easy, just write these words down and try to read them out loud a few times, I bet they will stick in your head, as they are something different, and humans like to remember non-normal stuff.


I hope you enjoy today’s update 🙂


Have a great day, I will write to you again pronto


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7 Responses to “Spanish words which change the meaning when changing the gender”

  1. Jennifer

    Great lesson! Also, el agua for water to drink and las aguas for waters from a stream for example. (Moving water)

  2. John

    Actually el agua is still feminine, “el agua fría”. The definite article is “el” because it is a feminine word whose accent falls on the first syllable and it begins with “a” or “ha”. Examples include “el águila” and “el hacha”. In the plurals, they take the normal feminine definite article “las”. It is purely a phonetical exception.

  3. Carmen Poyatos Boigues

    Buenos días!. Muchas gracias por aceptarme en este grupo. Thank you for sharing this amusing way to learn spanish. A few words:
    – El libro (book) / La libra (pound)
    – El helado (ice-cream) / La helada (frost)
    – El primo (cousin, fool) / La prima (cousin female or money)
    – El rodaje (film) /La rodaja (a circular piece)
    – El tinte (colour) / La tinta (ink)
    – El tejo (tree, a play) / La teja (a piece of mud)

  4. Silvia

    el foco – lighbulb la foca — seal (el animal marino)
    el capital – $ la capital (ciudad importante)


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