Gender of Russian Nouns

 

There are 3 genders in the Russian language - Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter.

It is crucial to understand the concept of genders as different parts of speech in Russian - pronouns, adjectives, verbs, numerals - agree in gender with the noun they refer to.

 

Masculine Nouns

 

Nouns are masculine if they:

■ Denote male persons, animals, etc:

папа - dad
дедушка - grandpa
бык - bull

■ End in a consonant:

дом - house
телевизор - TV
музей - museum

■ End in a soft sign (Ь):

дождь - rain
день - day
автомобиль - car

 

Feminine Nouns

 

Nouns are feminine if they:

■ Denote female persons, animals, etc:

мама - mom
бабушка - grandma
корова - cow

■ End in vowels (-А), (-Я):

книга - book
дорога - road
дыня - melon

■ End in a soft sign (Ь):

жизнь - life
ночь - night
мышь - mouse

 

Neuter Nouns

 

Nouns are neuter if they:

■ End in vowels (-О), (-Е):

окно - window
море - sea
счастье - happiness

■ End in letters (-МЯ):

время - time
племя - tribe
имя - name

 

Summary Table: Gender of Russian Nouns

The table below will help you learn and distinguish 3 genders (in the Nominative case and singular form).

Please note that there are some exceptions to the rule.

Masculine Feminine Neuter
NOUNS ENDING IN:
consonants (-А), (-Я) (-О), (-Е)
soft sign (-Ь) soft sign (-Ь) letters (-МЯ)

 

Exceptions

Foreign words that are indeclinable:

салями - salami - FEMININE

торнадо - tornado - MASCULINE

такси - taxi - NEUTER

коллега - colleague - COMMON GENDER

динго - dingo - COMMON GENDER

кенгуру - kangaroo - COMMON GENDER

фламинго - flamingo - COMMON GENDER

какаду - kakadu - COMMON GENDER

шимпанзе - chimpanzee - COMMON GENDER

* Indeclinable - having only one form; not declined for case or number.

* Common gender - nouns that can be masculine or feminine, depending on the sex of the person, animal involved.

 

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