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    From Wikipedia:
    Often, the masculine/feminine classification is only followed carefully for human beings. For animals, the relation between real and grammatical gender tends to be more arbitrary. In Spanish, for instance, a cheetah is always un guepardo (masculine) and a zebra is always una cebra (feminine), regardless of their biological sex. If it becomes necessary to specify the sex of the animal, an adjective is added, as in un guepardo hembra (a female cheetah), or una cebra macho (a male zebra). Different names for the male and the female of a species are more frequent for common pets or farm animals, eg. English horse and mare, Spanish vaca "cow" and toro "bull".
    So, why "un guepardo hembra", "una cebra macho"? This makes no sense to me; I know the words mean "female" and "male" respectively, but so what? They're refusing to agree with the nouns!

    Any insight would be appreciated.
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    It's just the way it is xD I don't know why but obviously hembra is female and macho is male. Just the way it is *shrugs*
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    From Wikipedia:


    So, why "un guepardo hembra", "una cebra macho"? This makes no sense to me; I know the words mean "female" and "male" respectively, but so what? They're refusing to agree with the nouns!

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    They're epicene nouns. The gender of the noun is fixed. 'Macho' and 'hembra' are invariable adjectives.
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    (Original post by Brotherhood)
    They're epicene nouns. The gender of the noun is fixed.
    Yeah, I know. Why aren't the adjectives agreeing with the gender of the noun, though? "Una cebra" is feminine, so any adjective qualifying it, even if it is an adjective meaning "male", should also be feminine, shouldn't it?
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    (Original post by Missmeem)
    It's just the way it is xD I don't know why but obviously hembra is female and macho is male. Just the way it is *shrugs*
    Is there any context in which you'd use the words "hembro" or "macha"?
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Yeah, I know. Why aren't the adjectives agreeing with the gender of the noun, though? "Una cebra" is feminine, so any adjective qualifying it, even if it is an adjective meaning "male", should also be feminine, shouldn't it?
    Sorry, I added a sentence in. They're both invariable adjectives (nouns functioning as adjectives). They don't change.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Is there any context in which you'd use the words "hembro" or "macha"?
    No, they're not words. It's just hembra for female and macho for male, you can't swap the 'a' and 'o' around.
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    (Original post by Brotherhood)
    Sorry, I added a sentence in. They're both invariable adjectives (nouns functioning as adjectives). They don't change.
    Are there any more examples of this?
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    (Original post by Brotherhood)
    Sorry, I added a sentence in. They're both invariable adjectives (nouns functioning as adjectives). They don't change.
    (Original post by Missmeem)
    No, they're not words. It's just hembra for female and macho for male, you can't swap the 'a' and 'o' around.
    Ah, I see. Thanks.
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    (Original post by frederizia)
    Are there any more examples of this?
    Colours from objects mainly; esmeralda, mostaza, naranja, paja, rosa, turquesa e.t.c. Colours like naranja and rosa are so commonly used they're basically adjectives now so the rules apply both ways.

    Monstruo, modelo, proper names, borrowed adjectives (web, sport) e.t.c.
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    I thought I had heard about it before, must've been the colour thing Thanks!
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    Juan es una persona muy macho

    Maria es una persona muy mona

    The adjective always has to agree with the gender of the noun.
 
 
 
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