Gender in Russian Language

Important to know about Gender in Russian language! Each noun in Russian language is assigned a gender.

As in many other languages, Russian has three genders:

masculine

feminine

neuter/neutral

In the case of objects like “table”, “dinner”, “car” etc., there is no physical meaning attached to the gender and you need to know what gender those words represent by knowing their endings. It’s not hard at all!

Why it is so important? Because it affects how words are formed and it can influence the full meaning of the sentence.

When you open dictionary and find any noun it will be in its dictionary form. In other words it’s Nominative case. In this form you can easily determine the gender of the noun. The noun’s ending can be changed to suit the case. Russian language has 6 cases:

So how can you work out what case is used from the dictionary form of a noun? It’s very easy with small practice:

If you have consonant letters (such as б, в, г, д, ж, з, к, л, м, н, п, р, с, т, ф, х, ц, ч, ш, щ), semivowel letter – “й” or soft sign “ь”, then you have Masculine Gender.

 

Example:

Telephone – телефонends with consonant letter “н

Wig – парик – ends with consonant letter “к

Museum – музей –  ends with semivowel letter “й

Dictionary – словарь – ends with soft sign “ь

 

If you have vowel letters “а” or “я” and soft sign “ь”, then you have Feminine Gender.

 

Brash – щетка – ends with vowel letter “а

Kettlebell – гиря – ends with vowel letter “я

Copybook – тетрадь – ends with soft sign “ь

 

If you have vowel letters “о” or “е”, then you have Neuter Gender.

 

Egg – яйцо – ends with vowel letter “о

Roast – жаркое – ends with vowel letter “е

Important to know: In the cases of words like “father – папа”, “uncle – дядя”, “grandfather – дедушка”, “man – мужчина” and “coffee – кофе“ etc., these relate to physical gender. So keep in mind that the formation of nouns has feminine gender but meaning is masculine.

To get more information about Genders in Russian language and lots of other useful materials check out our video course where we explain in details and with examples this topic.  The video course also has other important aspects of it.

Russian Grammar

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