russian nouns gender


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.


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) (not all nouns ending in a soft sign are masculine, some are feminine):

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) (not all nouns ending in a soft sign are feminine, some are masculine):

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

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

NOTE: there are always some exceptions to the rule.


Foreign words that are indeclinable:

салями - salami  (FEMININE)

торнадо - tornado (MASCULINE)

такси - taxi (NEUTER)

шоу - show (NEUTER)

Common gender words:

коллега - colleague

динго - dingo

кенгуру - kangaroo

фламинго - flamingo

какаду - kakadu

шимпанзе - chimpanzee


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

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


Please refer to the following topics to learn more about Russian nouns:

Russian Nouns: Cases
Russian Nouns: Plurals

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