Russian nouns gender

Overview of the article published on the SLO website:

Russian nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. The gender of nouns is important because it determine the forms of its modifiers in the phrase, i.e. related adjectives, pronouns, some forms of numeral etc.

The division of nouns into masculine, feminine and neuter have no well-grounded explanation. Neuter nouns usually have inanimate referents. Masculine and feminine nouns may denote both animate and inanimate referents.

It is possible to find out the gender of most Russian nouns by the last letter of their dictionary form. In the vast majority of instances, masculine nouns end in a consonant, feminine nouns end in –а/-я, neuter nouns end in –о/-е/-ё. However, there are also a lot of deviations from these rules.

In some groups of nouns, the grammatical gender is not determined by the last letter of the dictionary form. These groups are:

  1. indeclinable nouns;
  2. nouns of common gender;
  3. nouns ending in -ь;
  4. some masculine nouns ending in а/я;
  5. some neuter nouns ending in -мя;
  6. nouns denoting professions and occupation that are masculine, but sometimes may behave as feminine.

    The original article on SLO: Gender of Russian nouns

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