How To Find Out the Gender Russian Nouns
There are three genders in Russian:
masculine, feminine and neutral. The general rule to determine the gender
is to analyze the noun ending. However the task is complicated by
numerous exceptions you need to memorize. Below is a simple process to determing the gender of most Russian nouns.
- Find the nominative singular form of the noun. Use your dictionary. All nouns are shown in the nominative singular form in the dictionary (except for nouns that are always plural).
- Analyze the ending of the noun.
- Nouns ending in consonants -б, -в, -д, -з, -л, -м, -н, -п,
and -й are always masculine.
- Nouns ending in -а, -я, -ия are feminine (exceptions exist)
- Nouns ending in -о, -е, -ие are neutral.
- Nouns ending in -ёнок, -онок are masculine.
- Nouns ending in -ь can be masculine and feminine. Their gender should be memorized except for nouns mentioned in steps 8-9.
- The suffix -тель is typical of masculine nouns.
- The suffix -ость is typical for feminine nouns.
- Nouns of foreign origin can be masculine and feminine. These are
usually proper names, surnames, geographical names, etc. Need to be memorized.
- All dictionaries list nouns in the nominative singular form.
- Gender of animate nouns is defined by the natural sex of a
person or an animal. For instance, мальчик (boy) is always
masculine and девочка (girl) is always feminine.
Ask them in the Russian Questions and Answers — a place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.
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