"-a" endings in Spanish nouns

GeraldB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"-a" endings in Spanish nouns

What is the origin of the curious fact that certain Spanish words that end in "-a" and can refer to both male and female persons, never developed an "-o" ending to denote a male individual specifically? For example:

electricista, dentista, recepcionista.

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Gerald

To be honest, the reason why it is an invariable adjective is unknown; it's only known that this suffix -ista (as well as -crata) are of Greek origin. 

Saludos

Inma

GeraldB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Adoro tu honestidad. Cuando una persona de tu inteligencia y amplio conocimiento de idiomas no sabe la respuesta a una pregunta me hace sentir mucho menos el insecto que a veces creo que soy cuando se trata de aprender español. Muchas gracias de nuevo.

"-a" endings in Spanish nouns

What is the origin of the curious fact that certain Spanish words that end in "-a" and can refer to both male and female persons, never developed an "-o" ending to denote a male individual specifically? For example:

electricista, dentista, recepcionista.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Let me take a look at that...