Genders

Gender of Russian Nouns


Russian language has three gender groups: masculine, feminine and neuter.

The gender of a Russian noun can be recognized by its ending.

The easiest way to determine the gender of a noun is to look at its nominative form (dictionary form).



Gender determination of Russian Nouns





Noun ending
Noun example
MASCULINE NOUNconsonant
  магази́н (store)
й
  музе́й (museum)

FEMININE NOUN
а  ка́рта (map)
я  семья́ (family)
ия  ста́нция (station)

NEUTER NOUN о  письмо́ (letter)
е  кафе́ (cafe)
ие  зда́ние (building)
мя  и́мя (name)



Related:

How to make plurals



Exceptions in Russian genders


There are no exact rules for the exceptions bellow, you just have to memorize them. We collected the most common exceptions that could be handy for you.


The first group of exceptions includes nouns which can be easily determined by their physical gender.


MASCULINE NOUN EXCEPTIONS (1st group)
ENGLISHRUSSIANTRANSCRIPTION
manмужчи́на[muzhchina]
dadпа́па[papa]
granddadде́душка[dedushka]
uncleдя́дя[dyadya]
coffeeко́фе[kofe]
* These are the most common exceptions.



The second group of exceptions includes the nouns with "ь" (soft sign) in the end.


MASCULINE NOUN EXCEPTIONS (2nd group)
ENGLISHRUSSIANTRANSCRIPTION
hospitalго́спиталь[gospital'] 
guestго́сть
[gost']
gooseгусь
[gus']
dayдень
[den']
rainдо́ждь
[dozhd']
residentжи́тель
[zhitel'] 
beastзверь
[zver']
viewerзри́тель[zritel'] 
fireого́нь[ogon'] 
guyпа́рень[paren'] 
briefcaseпортфе́ль[portfel']
rouble (Russian currency)рубль
[rubl'] 
dictionaryслова́рь[slovar'] 
inventoryинвента́рь
[inventar'] 
cableка́бель
[kabel']
calendarкаленда́рь
[kalendar'] 
stoneка́мень
[kamen'] 
potatoкарто́фель
[kartofel']
shipкора́бль[korabl'] 
* These are the most common exceptions.

FEMININE NOUN EXCEPTIONS (2nd group)
ENGLISH
RUSSIAN
TRANSCRIPTION
door две́рь[dver']
daughter дочь[doch']
life жизнь[zhizn']
bed крова́ть[krovat']
horse ло́шадь[loshad']
mother мать[mat']
medal меда́ль[medal']
petroleum нефть[neft']
night ночь[noch']
autumn о́сень[osen']
square пло́щадь[ploshad']
salt соль[sol']
notebook тетра́дь[tetrad']
chain цепь[tsep']
jaw че́люсть[chelyust']
honour честь[chest']
quarter че́тверть[chetvert']
nonsense чушь[chush']
overcoat шине́ль[shinel']
wool ше́рсть[sherst']
crack щель[shchel']
brightness я́ркость[yarkost']
* These are the most common exceptions.



Tips: Gender of Russian nouns


Remember! In Russian all months are masculine


ENGLISHRUSSIANTRANSCRIPTION
January янва́рь[yanvar']
February февра́ль[fevral']
Marchмарт[mart]
April апре́ль[aprel']
Mayма́й[mai]
June июнь[iyun']
July июль[iyul']
Augustа́вгуст[avgust]
September сентя́брь[sentyabr']
October октя́брь[oktyabr']
November ноя́брь[noyabr'] 
December дека́брь[dekabr'] 


Related:

Days and Months in Russian



Example: How to determine the gender of a Russian noun


If you are reading a text, and you see a noun ending with "ь" (soft sign), check out other words (the adjective or a verb in past) related to the noun.


Го́сть был в Москве́.

го́сть - guest

был - Past Tense of verb "быть" (to be)

в - in (preposition)

Москве́ - Moscow (Preposition case applied to nominative name of the city "Москва́")

In this sentence the verb "быть" is used in Past tense of masculine gender "был", that means that the word "го́сть" is masculine.


Related:

Past Tense

Prepositional Case



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