Gender and plural of nouns ending by -ma (greek origin)

Many nouns ending in -ma (from Greek origin) are masculine in Spanish.

Have a look and listen to these examples:

El teorema de Pitágoras es fácil de entender.
Pythagoras theorem is easy to understand.

El sistema del ordenador no funcionaba.
The computer system didn't work.

Tengo un dilema bastante complicado.
I have a quite complicated dilemma.

El idioma mandarín se habla en China.
The Mandarin language is spoken in China.

Remember that articles and adjectives must agree with these masculine nouns.

If you know the direct translation in English you can confirm if nouns have a "Greek origin" by checking if they have a cognate adjective ending in "-matic" (-mático/a in Spanish).

For example:

  • drama = dramático/a
  • problema = problemático/a
  • idioma = idiomático/a

Forming the plural

To form the plural of these masculine nouns simply add an -s.

Have a look and listen to these examples:
 

Mis programas favoritos son las comedias.
My favourite programmes are comedies.

Miguel tenía muchos problemas en el trabajo.
Miguel had many problems at work.

Ellos van a estudiar todos los temas para el examen.
They are going to study all the subjects for the exam.

Los aromas de lavanda son buenos para relajarse.
Lavender aromas are good for relaxing.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Los aromas de lavanda son buenos para relajarse.
Lavender aromas are good for relaxing.


El idioma mandarín se habla en China.
The Mandarin language is spoken in China.


El sistema del ordenador no funcionaba.
The computer system didn't work.


Tengo un dilema bastante complicado.
I have a quite complicated dilemma.


Ellos van a estudiar todos los temas para el examen.
They are going to study all the subjects for the exam.


El teorema de Pitágoras es fácil de entender.
Pythagoras theorem is easy to understand.


Miguel tenía muchos problemas en el trabajo.
Miguel had many problems at work.


Mis programas favoritos son las comedias.
My favourite programmes are comedies.


Q&A

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