Portuguese has two genders: masculine and feminine. Gender classification is purely grammatical and it only matters when adding articles or Adjectives.
Besides the animate nouns, there is no strict rule for the gender. It is meaningless to say that, in Portuguese, a chair (cadeira) is feminine or a book (livro) is masculine. Compared to English, however, is a good feature of languages like Portuguse the more specific difference between a male friend (amigo) or a female friend (amiga).
The normal ending are -o for masculine and -a for feminine. This is not a general rule, however; actually, few nouns follow it.
Due to its meaning or formation, the noun can be divided in several groups.
Concrete and abstract nouns
A concrete noun refers to things that have independent existence. They can be real or not real, material or not material.
- água (water)
- Brasil (Brazil)
- círculo (circle)
- galinha (chicken)
- João (John)
- professor (teacher)
- repolho (cabbage)
A abstract noun refers to qualities, actions or states, independently of the things to which they are related.
- beleza (beauty)
- calor (heat)
- vida (life)
- encontro (meeting)
- tamanho (size)
Sometimes a noun can be both, depending on the context.
Common, proper, and collective nouns
A noun that refers to a specie is classified as common.
- arquivo (file)
- bananeira (banana tree)
- caixa (box)
- pessoa (person)
- vinho (wine)
A noun that refers to an individual being is classified as proper.
A noun that refer to a collectivity is classified as collective
- arquipélago (archipelago) - of islands
- assembléia (assembly) - of deputies
- exército (army) - of soldiers