Why is "el agua poco profunda" and not "profundo"? Agua is masculine although it ends with an "a". And from all what i've learnt so far it should be profundo.


2 Answers 2


Agua is feminine.

The key here is singular feminine nouns that starts with stressed 'a' or 'ha'. Examples: el alma viva, el arma peligrosa, el hambre canina, el habla clara, el hacha pesada, el águila altiva, el ala blanca.

Then the noun is feminine, and the adjective must be feminine although the article is masculine. And only when the article is immediately followed by the noun.

Better and deeper explanation (Spanish).

  • agua is masculine, you cant say la agua
    – Rosenthal
    Aug 22, 2014 at 15:26
  • Otherwise it would being smashed together to form lagua.
    – dockeryZ
    Aug 22, 2014 at 16:10
  • 4
    @syrux : the article 'el' is also used for feminine nouns, if they start with a stressed 'a'. Other examples: 'el alma' , 'el hacha', 'el arma'. All these are feminine, despite the masculine article.
    – leonbloy
    Aug 22, 2014 at 16:27
  • 1
    No, it is not @Rosenthal. "Era más blandA que el agua, que EL AGUA BLANDA" (from the tango "Naranjo en flor"). Even more, in "el agua" and in "el perro", the article "el" have different etymology.
    – ESL
    Apr 12, 2017 at 16:27

Agua has the thonic sylabe in the A, words starting like that became "masculine" but just in singular form:

  • El Agua, El águila, El aula, El arma.

  • Las aguas, las águilas, las aulas, las armas.

That's because it would sound "lagua". That doesn't sound good. But sometime you will use "la" with those words but it's better if you use "el".

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