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.

Here's How:

  1. 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).
  2. Analyze the ending of the noun.
  3. Nouns ending in consonants -б, -в, -д, -з, -л, -м, -н, -п, and are always masculine.
  4. Nouns ending in -а, -я, -ия are feminine (exceptions exist)
  5. Nouns ending in -о, -е, -ие are neutral.
  6. Nouns ending in -ёнок, -онок are masculine.
  7. Nouns ending in can be masculine and feminine. Their gender should be memorized except for nouns mentioned in steps 8-9.
  8. The suffix -тель is typical of masculine nouns.
  9. The suffix -ость is typical for feminine nouns.
  10. Nouns of foreign origin can be masculine and feminine. These are usually proper names, surnames, geographical names, etc. Need to be memorized.

Tips:

  1. All dictionaries list nouns in the nominative singular form.
  2. 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.

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