In Chapter 8, the focus was on the acquisition of a particularly English morpho-syntactic construct. In this chapter, we turn to Spanish and examine a structure particular to Spanish and not shared by English – grammatical gender. As noted in Chapter 8, languages generally fall into two major types, those that have grammatical gender and those that have natural gender. In a natural gender language, like English, nouns that refer to humans and animate beings are sometimes distinguished on the basis of the gender of their referents. The distinction may be a matter of a choice between completely different lexical items – e.g., in English boy refers to males, girl to females, or it may be a matter of a morphological distinction – e.g., in English mister (for males) and mistress (for females) are based on the same stem. Modifiers that are used with these nouns generally do not take distinct shapes on the basis of gender (e.g., we use the and small and happy with both words referring to males and words referring to females); pronouns that are co-referential with these nouns may be marked for gender, but that gender is taken from the natural gender of the referent, as is generally the case for pronouns in a natural gender language (see Gathercole, 1989) for discussion of unmarked he, however). Nouns that do not refer to animate beings (e.g., sand, water, chair), and even many nouns that do (e.g., teacher, cat), are generally not specified in any way for gender. (For the latter type, pronoun choice may still depend on the gender of the referent, however.) Contrast this with a grammatical gender language, like Spanish. In such a language, nouns are categorized into generally two or three classes, according to the types and forms of modifiers they may co-occur with. The use of a noun of a particular gender dictates the choice of forms – either lexically or morphologically distinct – of, e.g., articles and adjectives modifying that noun.