In this Spanish video lesson we shot a few years ago in funky little marketplace in the district of Miraflores, in Lima, Juan Carlos takes a look at the word “moto”, and explains why – even though it ends with the letter “o” – Spanish speakers use the article “la” – as in “La moto”. After all, isn’t one of the cardinal rules of Spanish “If it ends in “o” it must be masculine”? Is “la moto” an excepcion to the rule? Well, it turns out that there is very good reason why we say “la moto”…. and no, it’s not really an exception to the rule at all, and once you learn the logic behind the apparent inconsistency, it will help you decipher similar cases in the future.
Watch the lesson, and then read on for an explanation, just in case you don’t understand everything that Juan Carlos says.
Did you catch it? What Juan Carlos is explaining is the “la moto” is short for “la motocicleta”, so even though the word has been shortened by common usage, the true essence of the word is unchanged, so the gender remains the same.