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#193 – Is agua Masculine or Feminine in Spanish?

Corporate Spanish Trainer

Is agua masculine or feminine in Spanish?

Is this correct? – El agua pura

Post 193/365
Es jueves, 5 de octubre de 2017


Hello and thanks for stopping by Spanish Blog 365 today.

This week we are learning a series of mini, stand-alone grammar topics. We started with…

sino and sino que


special uses with the word ¡Qué…!


Today we’ll continue with an important note on something similar to ‘an apple‘ in English.

Say ‘a apple‘.

Notice how hard it is to pronounce the two ‘a’ sounds side-by-side?

In English when that occurs we break the two vowel sounds with a consonant, ‘an apple’.

That’s easier to say!

The same thing occurs in Spanish. Say this: la agua

That’s hard to say!

Agua is feminine, however, because of this pronunciation issue with the two vowels side-by-side, it’s actually ‘el agua‘.

Since it is truly feminine, the phrase ‘el agua pura‘ is correct. Pura needs to be in the feminine form because agua is feminine, but you’ll use to masculine article el to break the double vowels.

el agua fría 


When it’s in the plural plural form, no problem! Las aguas

The word las has the consonant that breaks the double vowel sound.

Las aguas frías

The same rule applies with the indefinite articles

una agua is too hard to say, so it’s un agua, but unas aguas


masculine or feminine in Spanish?



This happens with any word that:

is feminine and begins with an ‘a’ and the first syllable is stressed

el ala – the wing
el alma – the soul
el agua – the water
el áquila – eagle
el área – the area


la acción – the first syllable is not stressed so it’s not so hard to pronounce the double ‘a’ sound.
la asistencia  – again the first syllable is not stressed.

or that starts with an ‘h’ and is feminine and the first syllable is stressed.

el hada – the fairy (like TinkerBell)
el hache – the letter ‘h‘. All letters are feminine in Spanish, but it’s hard to say ‘la hache’

Action steps: Go back and make all of the above words plural using ‘las‘ and hear the difference. Also, note that any adjective describing one of these words will be in the feminine form.

Leave me a comment, let me know how your Spanish is coming along and what questions you may have. I’d love to hear from you!

Gracias y hasta mañana,