The most important Spanish nouns to learn may differ based on your needs as a Spanish language learner. An IT engineer working with Latin American teams will need to learn different Spanish nouns than a liberal arts student studying abroad.

Beginner classes often emphasize phrases like, ¿Dónde está la biblioteca? (Where is the library?). But most adult learners will never ask this question out loud, because we have smartphones to direct us. We wanted to break the tradition of learning useless words and phrases, so we’ve compiled the most common and useful Spanish noun list possible.

So, what are the most common Spanish nouns? To find out, we ran a textual analysis of four short stories and four news articles in Spanish. We then grouped the most-mentioned Spanish nouns into the following categories: 

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A quick note about the gender of Spanish nouns

Before we jump right in, remember that nouns in Spanish have a gender. That’s right: la mesa (the table) is feminine while el baño (the toilet) is masculine. Masculine nouns in Spanish have the definite article el’ and usually end in the letter “o,” as in el baño. Feminine nouns in Spanish have the article la and usually end in the letter “a,” as in la mesa.


  1. la casa – the house
  2. el restaurante – the restaurant
  3. el apartamento – the apartment
  4. el lago – the lake
  5. el camino – the road
  6. el bosque – the forest
  7. la plaza – the town square or shopping mall
  8. la ciudad – the city
  9. el banco – the bank
  10. el mercado – the market (this can also refer to a financial market)
  11. el estado – the state
  12. el país – the country


  1. la mujer – the woman
  2. el hombre – the man
  3. la hermana/el hermano – the sister/the brother
  4. la madre – the mother
  5. el padre – the father
  6. el señor/la señora – the sir/the madam; when capitalized, el Señor is the Christian word for “the Lord”
  7. la familia – the family
  8. el grupo – the group
  9. el candidato – the candidate
  10. la guardia – the guard
  11. el caballero – the gentleman
  12. la dama – the lady
  13. la persona – the person
  14. el conductor – the driver
  15. el amigo/la amiga – the friend (masculine/feminine)


  1. el camión – the truck or bus* (only for Mexico)
  2. el autobús – the bus
  3. el coche/el carro/el auto – the car (depending on the country)
  4. la bicicleta – the bicycle
  5. el cargamento – the cargo
  6. el equipaje – the luggage


  1. la criatura – the creature
  2. el animal – the animal
  3. el perro – the dog
  4. el gato – the cat

Goods and materials

  1. la madera – the wood
  2. el oro – the gold
  3. la gasolina – the gasoline


  1. el año – the year
  2. el mes – the month
  3. el día – the day
  4. el momento – the moment


  1. la Televisión – the TV
  2. el teléfono/móvil/celular – the phone/mobile/cell phone (depending on the country)
  3. el número  – the number
  4. la foto – the photo
  5. las redes sociales – the social media networks

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  1. la comida/el alimento – the food
  2. el agua – the water
  3. el frijol – the bean
  4. el arroz – the rice
  5. la carne – the meat or beef
  6. los vegetales – the vegetables
  7. las frutas – the fruit

Life and events

  1. las noticias – the news
  2. las experiencias – the experiences
  3. las propuestas – the proposals
  4. la pobreza – the poverty
  5. el desafío – the challenge
  6. la economía – the economy
  7. la política – politics
  8. la salud – health
  9. las elecciones – the elections
  10. la pandemia – the pandemic
  11. la crisis – the crisis
  12. la fuerza – the force/strength
  13. la muertedeath
  14. la vida – life

The body

  1. el pie – the foot
  2. la cabeza – the head
  3. el brazo – the arm
  4. el pecho – the chest
  5. el estómago – the stomach
  6. la pierna –  the leg
  7. la sonrisa – the smile
  8. la derecha – the right
  9. la izquierda – the left


  1. la chaqueta – the jacket
  2. los pantalones – the pants
  3. la camisa – the shirt
  4. la ropa interior – the underwear
  5. la gorra – the hat
  6. los zapatos – the shoes

The household

  1. la caja – the box
  2. la puerta – the door
  3. el baño – the bathroom
  4. el cuarto –the  bedroom
  5. la cocina – the kitchen
  6. la cosa – the thing
  7. la parrilla – the grill
  8. la mesa – the table
  9. el sofá – the sofa/couch
  10. la cama – the bed
  11. el garaje – the garage


  1. la información – the information
  2. la pregunta – the question
  3. la carta – the letter
  4. el correo electrónico – the email
  5. el mensaje – the message

Spanish nouns for daily life

You’ll likely need these Spanish nouns to get around in your daily life, and especially when holding a conversation on current events. A textual analysis of typical Spanish writing indicates that these Spanish nouns are among the most common. No more obscure words taking up space in your memory — just useful terms you can try using today. What are you waiting for? Learn these 101 nouns in Spanish to jump-start your vocabulary!

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Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Turkish. Her consulting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.

Alison Maciejewski Cortez
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