I am new to Spanish, and I am looking at this sentence

Las hijas son inteligentes

it seems to be wrong based on feedback of a exam I am taking, but I am not sure why. I suspect that "inteligentes" is masculine, then what is its feminine form, please?

  • 3
    As is now, the sentence is correct. What feedback did you get? What were you told about it that makes you think it has something wrong? Please edit to clarify.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 23:25
  • Is there a feminine form of inteligente?
    – zyxue
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 23:35
  • ‘Inteligente’ is a characteristic, so ‘ser inteligente’ is correct. forum.wordreference.com/threads/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 6:51
  • 2
    Since it seems gramatically correct, is it possible that it was only wrong in context? For instance, could the context have required that it be "las niñas son inteligentes" ("girls are intelligent" or "the girls are intelligent") instead? Or "los hijos son inteligentes," because it was referring to a group of sons?
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 8:40

2 Answers 2


There's nothing wrong with the use of the adjective inteligentes in your sentence. In Spanish, nouns and adjectives finishing with nte doesn't have masculine/feminine variation, for example:

  • El/la agente.
  • El chico es pedante / La chica es pedante.
  • El estudiante no es muy inteligente / La estudiante no es muy inteligente.
  • Las galletas quedaron crujientes / El pan quedó crujiente.

You can actually find this rule in the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas:

También los sustantivos terminados en -ante o -ente, procedentes en gran parte de participios de presente latinos, y que funcionan en su gran mayoría como comunes, en consonancia con la forma única de los adjetivos con estas mismas terminaciones (complaciente, inteligente, pedante, etc.)

There are few "exceptions" that may turn-up in the context of gender-inclusive language:

  • Presidente (m) / Presidenta (f)
  • Dirigente (m) / Dirigenta (f)
  • 'Presidenta' is OK for a female president, but 'dirigenta' sounds terrible to me. The DRAE does not accept it either.
    – Spuny
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 8:54
  • @Spuny I'm well aware of the fact that the RAE doesn't recognize the word dirigenta (and not so long ago, it didn't recognize presidenta either). But we can't deny it's common use in some contexts: just make a Google News search of the word dirigenta.
    – prm296
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 12:26
  • How does presidenta turn up in the context of gender-inclusive language? It rather seems to be the exact opposite to me. Given that words in -ente are inherently gender-ambiguous, getting rid of presidenta (except perhaps in the sense ‘president’s wife’) and just using presidente everywhere would surely be much more gender-inclusive… Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 17:56

Las hijas son inteligentes

Problemas :

¿ De quién son las hijas ?

e.g. “Las hijas de Pedro son inteligentes” or “Mis hijas son inteligentes”

El uso de inteligentes no tiene nada de malo.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.