Gender of nouns ending in -ista and -crata

Nouns ending wtih -ista and -crata usually refer to people and can be either masculine or feminine, depending on who you are referring to.

Read and listen to these examples with the noun dentista:

El dentista me hizo un empaste ayer.
The (male) dentist gave me a filling yesterday.

La dentista dice que me lave los dientes todos los días.
The (female) dentist told me to brush my teeth every day.

Los dentistas se reunieron en el colegio médico.
The (all male or mixture of male and female) dentists met at the medical college.

Las dentistas ayudan a los niños siempre.
The (female) dentists always help the children.

As you can see above, both masculine and feminine singular forms are identical. You only need to change the article to specify if it is male or female. To make the plural for either gender, simply add an -s.

El oculista. Los oculistas
The optician. The opticians

La feminista. Las feministas
The feminist. The feminists

Nouns ending in -ista 

Here you can see other nouns ending in -ista following the same rule as dentista, referring to jobs or someone supporting an idea or ideology:

  • periodista (journalist)
  • futbolista (football player)
  • artista (artist)
  • colonialista (colonialist)
  • centrista (centrist)
  • izquierdista (politically left-wing)
  • derechista (politically right-wing)

Nouns ending in -crata

Nouns ending in -crata denote someone "in favour of a government or an ideas system" and follow the same rule as the -ista nouns:

Un autócrata muy conocido fue el zar de Rusia.
A well-known (male) autocrat was the Tsar of Russia.

La burócrata vive bien de su sueldo.
The (female) bureaucrat lives well from her salary.

Los aristócratas poseen muchas propiedades en el extranjero.
The (all male or mixture of male and female) aristocrats possess many properties abroad.

Las demócratas respetan las opiniones ajenas.
The (female) democrats respect other people's opinions.

See also Género.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

El oculista. Los oculistas
The optician. The opticians


El dentista me hizo un empaste ayer.
The (male) dentist gave me a filling yesterday.


Las dentistas ayudan a los niños siempre.
The (female) dentists always help the children.


La burócrata vive bien de su sueldo.
The (female) bureaucrat lives well from her salary.


Las demócratas respetan las opiniones ajenas.
The (female) democrats respect other people's opinions.


Los dentistas se reunieron en el colegio médico.
The (all male or mixture of male and female) dentists met at the medical college.


La dentista dice que me lave los dientes todos los días.
The (female) dentist told me to brush my teeth every day.


La feminista. Las feministas
The feminist. The feminists


Un autócrata muy conocido fue el zar de Rusia.
A well-known (male) autocrat was the Tsar of Russia.


Los aristócratas poseen muchas propiedades en el extranjero.
The (all male or mixture of male and female) aristocrats possess many properties abroad.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 2 answers

Gender of word

Although I understand this lesson, the quiz question  "What is the gender of the word ____" seems to vague.  My understanding is that, with living things, the gender of the word is determined by the gender of the person/animal etc it refers to.  Therefore, without a pronoun or phrase to clarify, it seems to me the correct answer should be "don't know".  Obviously, except in some very rare situations, "both" seems inaccurate.  Would it be more "on point" to ask thequestion using a phrase?

Asked 3 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Doug

It is true that with living things the gender of the word is determined by the gender of the person or animal, like you are saying, e.g "el perro, la perra", el camarero, la camarera", "el actor, la actriz", etc but some nouns only admit one gender, like some abstract nouns, "la verdad", "la democracia", "el paisaje"..

However I can see why you are finding the test confusing. We are going to improve the questions related to this lesson to make it more clear and less ambiguous.

Gracias y un saludo.

Inma

Shouldn't the second sentence contain dijo instead of dice? There seems to be a mistake.

Gender of word

Although I understand this lesson, the quiz question  "What is the gender of the word ____" seems to vague.  My understanding is that, with living things, the gender of the word is determined by the gender of the person/animal etc it refers to.  Therefore, without a pronoun or phrase to clarify, it seems to me the correct answer should be "don't know".  Obviously, except in some very rare situations, "both" seems inaccurate.  Would it be more "on point" to ask thequestion using a phrase?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now.