I'm new to Spanish and can't get a handle on this...

The dinner is prepared.

is translated to:

La cena esta preparada.

Why isn't this the Spanish equivalent?

La cena esta preparado.

  • 1
    Please check How to Ask to see how to ask a proper question here, showing what was your research, etc.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 14:12
  • It is because in Spanish nouns have a gender. It is hard to understand for a native English speaker at the very beginning, because there is no such thing in English.
    – Jagger
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 20:30

5 Answers 5


Yes, the correct translation is

La cena está preparada

Why? Because cena is a femenine word, so that you say "la" and "preparada". That is, the participle verb is conjugated also.

With "desayuno", since it is masculine you would say

El desayuno está preparado


The other answers are right. "Preparada" agrees with "la cena" and "preparado" would not. I'd like to add one more bit. Consider the following sentence:

He preparado la cena.

In this sentence, "preparado" is a past participle, a component of the perfect tense of the verb. It does not have to agree with "la cena".

In the original sentence, "preparada" is a predicate adjective, and it has to agree with the noun it qualifies.


Spanish uses two different forms of adjectives for each of the Spanish genders, which are masculin and feminin.

La cena is feminin and so it becomes preparada. El amuerzo is masculin and would be preparado. A different example would be: "La casa es mía" but "El apartamento es mío."

There are very few exceptions, where a Word ends on o which is femin or on a and is masculin. Two common ones would be El idioma which is "the language" or La Mano which is "the hand". Still in this case their respective form of the verb would be used: "El castellano es el idioma hablado en España."


For a beginner está preparada is easy to be confused with está preparando or ha preparado.

La cena está preparada.
The dinner is prepared.

In the above sentence preparada is an adjective, related to la cena and not connected with está, and as such it has to match the noun (la cena) in the gender (feminine) and grammatical number (singular), so must end with -a.


Las cenas están preparadas.
El desayuno está preparado.
Los desayunos están preparados.


María está preparando la cena.
María is preparing the dinner.
Juan está preparando la cena.
Juan is preparing the dinner.

In the above sentence preparando is a gerund, and it is a part of the present continuous está preparando, which does not match the gender and number of the noun (María).

María ha preparado la cena.
María has prepared the dinner.
Juan ha preparado la cena.
Juan has prepared the dinner.

Similarly, preparado is a participle, and it is a part of the present perfect ha preparado, which does not match the gender and number of the noun.


because cena ending en "A" is femenin and all comming with it must to end in "A" preparada, rica, sabrosa, lista, ... ready... tasety, delicious and done, are sinonimus of this words in spanish when a word ends in O the resst end in o when ends in a the rest ends in a femenin with femenin masculin with masculin

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