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The article "el" with word endings.

In general, Spanish nouns that end with the letter "o" are masculine. And Spanish nouns that end with the letter "a" are feminine.
 
But there are exceptions to this rule.
And "sofa" or "el sofá" is one of them.
 
¿Te gusta el sofa?.                                           Do you like the sofa?.
 
Here is a list of some more words that are exceptions to the general rule: nouns that end with "o" are masculine and nouns that end with "a" are feminine:
 
1. el drama                         - drama
2. el clima                          - climate
3. el problema                    - problem
4. el fantasma                     - ghost
5. el poema                         - poem
6. el idioma                         - language
7. el tema                            - theme
8. el sistema                        - system
9. el mapa                           - map
 
You may have noticed that many of the above words end with "ma." But do NOT make the mistake of thinking that every Spanish word that ends with "ma" is masculine.
 
Many Spanish words that end with "ma" are feminine.
 
Por ejemplo - for example:
 
1. la rama                               - branch
2. la firma                              - signature
3. la cama                               - bed
4. la broma                             - joke
 
5. la loma                               - low ridge
6. la lima                                - lime
7. la palma                              - palm
8. la coma                               - comma
                       http://doncarlos123.tripod.com/sustantivos.html
 
  Words ending in.....
 
  The gender of many words can be determined by looking at the ending.  
  the following is a summary- with notable exceptions- of the rules that you can follow.
 
  O
 
  Words ending in "o" are generally masculine.  There are some exceptions, however:
 
  la mano (hand)
  la radio (radio); el radio = radius
  la moto (motorcycle) short for motocicleta
  la foto (photograph) short for fotografía
 
  A
 
  Words ending in "a" are generally feminine.  Again, there are exceptions.
 
  el día (day)  hence:  ¡Buenos días!
  el tranvía (streetcar)
  el panda (panda)
 
  There are a number of other words ending in "a" that are also masculine, but there is a pattern.  
  See if you can figure it out.
  el mapa (map)
  el drama (drama)
  el problema (problem)
  el sistema (system)
  el programa (program) (also telegrama telegram, crucigrama crossword)
  el planeta (planet)
  el idioma (language; idiom)
  el clima (climate)
  el poema (poem)
 
  Looking at this list, can you hypothesize a rule to determine why they are in their own category? 
   Just to help you along, here are some words that do not fit into the above list:
 
  la cama (bed)
  la bicicleta (bicycle)
  la papa (potato)
  la patata (also potato, from Nahuatl [aztec])
 
  Here's the answer.  The "irregular words" are from Greek.  
  In Greek these words had masculine gender, and maintained this when they transferred to Spanish, 
  even though they have a "Spanish femenine" ending.  
  How are they different from other words ending in "a"?  Three things:
 
  1. They end in "ma", "pa" or "ta"
  2. They are all cognates- they are similar to English (which also took these words from Greek).
  3. They are words [or in the case of "grama"- a root] that have been around for a long, long time 
  and are of Greek origin.

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