Is computer masculine or feminine in spanish?

There is an ongoing debate among Spanish learners and native speakers alike about whether the word “computer” should be considered masculine or feminine. While Spanish nouns are typically divided into two genders, masculine and feminine, determining the gender of “computer” is not as straightforward as it may seem.

The gender of “computer”

The Spanish word for “computer” is “computadora” or “ordenador,” depending on the region. Both words are widely used and understood throughout the Spanish-speaking world. However, the gender assigned to these words is where the confusion arises.

Computer is **feminine** in Spanish.

While some individuals argue that it should be masculine due to the word’s resemblance to “el ordenador,” which is grammatically masculine, the majority of Spanish speakers and learners perceive it as feminine. “La computadora” is used extensively in various countries, including Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia, while “el ordenador” is more commonly heard in Spain.

The primary reason for considering “computadora” as feminine is that it adopted the gender of the word “máquina” (machine), which is feminine in Spanish. As computers are widely regarded as machines, this association influenced the gender assigned to “computadora.”


1. Can I use “el computadora” instead of “la computadora”?

No, “computadora” is a feminine noun, and it should be preceded by the feminine article “la.”

2. Why do some people use “el ordenador” instead of “la computadora”?

In Spain, “el ordenador” is more commonly used, but it is important to note that “el ordenador” does not refer to a desktop computer exclusively, as it can also refer to laptops and other electronic devices.

3. Is the gender of “computer” different in Latin American countries?

No, the gender remains the same. “La computadora” is still widely used throughout Latin American countries.

4. Can I use “computador” instead of “computadora”?

While “computador” is occasionally used in certain regions, “computadora” is the more common term and is understood universally.

5. Are there any other words related to computers that have conflicting genders?

Yes, for example, “teclado” (keyboard) is considered masculine, while “impresora” (printer) is feminine.

6. How can I remember the gender of “computadora”?

The best way to remember the gender is through practice. Continuously using the word in its correct form, alongside its articles and adjectives, will help you internalize its gender naturally.

7. Can I use “ordenador” in Latin American countries?

Although “ordenador” is more commonly used in Spain, it is understandable in Latin America as well. However, it might sound less familiar to native speakers in those regions.

8. Is there any logical reason behind assigning genders to nouns in Spanish?

No, the gender assignment of nouns in Spanish is arbitrary and does not necessarily reflect any inherent characteristics of the objects they represent.

9. Are there any exceptions to the rule of assigning genders in Spanish?

Yes, there are some exceptions, but they are relatively rare. Some nouns can have both masculine and feminine forms with different meanings, such as “el capital” (capital as in money) and “la capital” (capital as in a city).

10. Why is it essential to know the gender of nouns in Spanish?

Knowing the gender of nouns is crucial for understanding Spanish grammar, as it affects the agreement of articles, adjectives, and pronouns.

11. Can I use “la ordenadora” in addition to “la computadora”?

While “la ordenadora” might sound unusual to the ears of Latin American Spanish speakers, it is sometimes used interchangeably with “la computadora” in Spain.

12. Can the gender of “computadora” change in the future?

Language is constantly evolving, and although it is unlikely, it is not entirely impossible for the gender of “computadora” to change in the future. However, as of now, it is predominantly perceived as feminine in Spanish.

In conclusion

The debate over the gender of “computadora” or “ordenador” in Spanish remains a topic of discussion among language enthusiasts. Despite arguments that suggest it should be masculine, the prevailing consensus among native speakers and learners is that “computadora” is feminine. Remembering and using the correct gender of nouns is an essential aspect of Spanish grammar, allowing for effective communication in the language.

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