Suffixes of Russian Nouns

The essential parts of most Russian nouns are the root, the suffix, and the ending. A suffix is usually a group of letters which goes at the end of a word and carries a new meaning or grammatical properties. For example, the suffix -изм (-ism) added to the word капитал (capital) turns it into an abstract noun капитализм (capitalism) in both Russian and English. You can get a better understanding of nouns in the Russian language by paying close attention to their suffixes. The tables below sum up the most common suffixes and their roles in formation of Russian nouns.

Note that some masculine nouns may not have feminine forms. In such cases the masculine nouns are used for both males and females, for example Он – космонавт (He's a spaceman) and Она – космонавт (She's a spacewoman).

1. Russian suffixes that form nouns designating
occupations, trades and professions

SUFFIXES
(m) - masculine
(f) - feminine

Examples of Russian nouns

Translation

masculine feminine
-тель (m)
-тельница
(f)
учитель,
писатель
----------
строитель
учительница,
писательница
----------
no feminine form
a teacher,
a writer
----------
a constructor
-ник (m)
-ница
(f)
ученик,
художник
----------
дворник
ученица,
художница
----------
no feminine form
a student
a artist
----------
a wiper
-чик (m)
-чица
(f)
лётчик,
переводчик
лётчица,
переводчица
a pilot,
a translator
-ик (m) математик,
историк
feminine forms
not used
a mathematician,
a historian

 

2. Russian suffixes that form nouns designating people of various
societies, nationalities, residencies and occupations

SUFFIXES
(m) - masculine
(f) - feminine

Examples of Russian nouns

Translation

masculine feminine
-ец (m)
-ка
(f)
австриец
американец
австрийка
американка
an Austrian
an American
-ин (m)
-ка
(f)
болгарин болгарка a Bulgarian
-анин (m)
-янин
(m)
-анка
(f)
-янка (f)
гражданин
египтянин
гражданка
египтянка
a citizen
an Egyptian
-ист (m)
-истка
(f)
гитарист гитаристка a guitarist
-тор (m)
-атор
(m)
автор
оратор

-

an author
an orator
-ка (f)

-

студентка a student

 

3. Russian suffixes that form nouns designating
ideas and concepts

SUFFIXES
(m) - masculine
(f) - feminine
(n) - neuter

Examples of Russian nouns

Translation
masculine feminine neuter
-изм (m)
 
героизм
капитализм
- - heroism
capitalism
-ость (f)
 

-

гордость
честность

-

pride
honesty
-ция (f)
 

-

лекция
акция

-

lecture
action
-ство (n) - - общество
чувство
society
feeling
-ани, -ание (n)
-ни, -ние
(n)
-ени, -ение
(n)
- - понимание
движение
сочинение
understanding
movement
composition

 

4. Russian suffixes that form
diminutive nouns and pet names

SUFFIXES
(m) - masculine
(f) - feminine

Examples of Russian nouns

Translation
masculine feminine
-ик
-чик
-ок
-ек
братик
диванчик
листок
сыночек

-

a little brother
a small sofa
a small leaf
a son
-ка
-ичка
-ечка
- мышка
водичка
Танечка
a little mouse
water
pet name for Tatyana


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