Portuguese Grammar Reference ("QuickGrammar")
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>>Portuguese Nouns > Regular Nouns > Gender

Every noun in Portuguese belongs to one of two groups, either masculine or feminine. These groups are known as the noun's gender. The gender has nothing to do with the meaning of the word, so it is important to view gender as a point of grammar. The noun's gender determines how you will use the noun.

Many masculine nouns end in an -o, while it is common for feminine nouns to end in -a. The noun ano year is masculine, and festa feast, party is feminine. Roberto is a male's name, Ana is a female's.

The majority of nouns ending in a consonant are masculine. Nouns ending in -e fall in both genders, such as the masculine paciente (medical) patient or the feminine gente people.

A number of common endings (suffixes) with counterparts in English are consistently masculine or feminine. In each of these cases, the endings are native to Portuguese nouns, but English ultimately borrowed all of them from Latin through French. Here are a few examples:

Portuguese Ending English Equivalent Gender
-ção, -são -tion, -sion f.
-idade -ity f.
-ismo -ism m.
-ador -ator m.

The articles must match the gender of the noun. You can learn more about this topic in using articles with the noun. Portuguese adjectives also change to reflect the gender of the noun.