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Do you say Los avestruces or Las avestruces?

I think I've seen both. Maybe both are accepted?

In singular it is easier, and maybe it just extrapolates to the plural. In singular it's El avestruz, in order to avoid two identical vocals together.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's masculine, so you would say el avestruz and los avestruces.
The confusion might come from ave, which is feminine.

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Lo correcto es LOS AVESTRUCES. Por influencia del género femenino ave (las aves) solemos cometer el error de decir las avestruces. Según el Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas (2005), avestruz es voz masculina:

Ejemplo: En la granja logramos apreciar a los majestuosos avestruces.

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"... in order to avoid two same vocals together."

You're a bit wrong here about the rules to apply in order to avoid cacofonía. Even if avestruz were female, the proper way to write it would be "la avestruz". In order to apply the "cacofonía avoid rule" (sorry for the expresion invention) you need two conditions:

  1. The word must start with an "a" (or "ha" for the case)
  2. The accent must be in the "a"

For example, you have to say "el hacha" and "el ábaco", but on the other hand you have to say "la apertura" (the accent is in the "u") and "la ambrosía" (the accent is in the "i").

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Just to complement the good @AlexisPigeon answer, I want to make it clear that it's not el avestruz "in order to avoid two same vocals together" -which is known as cacofonía- as you said in your question...

That happens with some feminine nouns such as el agua or el hacha, but in this case it's just because avestruz is a masculine noun and that's all! If you see las avestruces, it's just wrong...

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Thanks for the information –  SysDragon Oct 24 '13 at 11:40

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