Lesson 007

Gender in Russian

25+

One of the main differences between Russian and English is the fact that every Russian noun belongs to one of the 3 genders: masculine, feminine or neuter.

Knowing the gender of a noun is important as it affects the endings the noun takes in different cases.

It’s quite easy to figure out the gender when we are talking about people, but what to do when the noun is inanimate? The answer is: look at the word’s ending.

Feminine nouns

The feminine nouns end in , or .

Examples:

кни́га [knée-ga]book
неде́ля [nee-dyé-lya]week
ночь [noch’]night

Neuter nouns

The neuter nouns end in -O, . Examples:

о́блако [ób-la-ka]cloud
зна́ние [zná-nee-ye]knowledge
со́лнце [són-tse]sun

Russian Pod 101

Masculine nouns

The masculine nouns often have no ending, i.e. the last letter is a consonant. Sometimes they end on (as the feminine nouns, do not get confused). Examples:

день [dyen’]day
год [got]year

Exceptions

There is also a number of exceptions. For example, some words are masculine despite their endings:

пáпа [pá-pa]dad
дя́дя [dyá-dya]uncle
ко́фе [kó-fye]coffee

These words are neuter despite ending in :

вре́мя [vryé-mya]time
и́мя [ée-mya]name

Some words can be masculine and feminine at the same time:

колле́га [kal-lyé-ga]colleague
копу́ша [ka-pú-sha]slowpoke

Now, you are familiar with the gender in Russian and know how to determine a gender of a Russian noun. Practice all these words with the audio recording. And come back to learn Russian in the next lesson!

The offline version of this lesson is available here

Start the quiz
  • Question # 1
    What gender:
    гру́ша (pear)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 2
    What gender:
    стол (table)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 3
    What gender:
    де́рево (tree)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 4
    What gender:
    со́лнце (sun)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 5
    What gender:
    телеви́зор (TV set)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 6
    What gender:
    стена́ (wall)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 7
    What gender:
    журна́л (magazine)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 8
    What gender:
    по́мощь (help)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 9
    What gender:
    иде́я (idea)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 10
    What gender:
    но́мер (number)
    • masculine
    • feminine
    • neuter
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
25+

More lessons on the Russian nouns

9 comments on “007 – Gender in Russian”

  1. Sachin says:

    I have also taken a test on genders from the link on this page,

    слуга is placed in Masculine how?

    Its ending in ‘A’ right?

    should it not be neuter ? a servant can be of any sex, unless we know that its a He/She, it should be addressed as Neuter, right?

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Sachin,

      Слуга is indeed masculine. Служанка is feminine. As you might have already noticed, there are quite a few exeptions of the basic rules in Russian.

      If a word can be masculine and feminine at the same time (for example, копуша – slowpoke), their gender is masculine or feminine depending of context, but not neuter.

      The neuter gender is a separate category.

  2. Sachin says:

    masculine nouns often have no ending, sometimes they me end with a soft sign as understood from the above lesson.

    Your very example ‘ночь’ is placed under feminine, why?

    It ends with a consonant and is also followed by a soft sign.

    Regards,
    Sachin

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Sachin,

      Thanks for the question.

      In Russian, both masculine and feminine nouns can end in -Ь. And since -Ь always follows a consonant, it is always a consonant and the soft sign.

      However, in most cases (if not all), the nouns ending in -ЧЬ are feminine:

      – ночь (night)
      – дочь (daughter)
      – горечь (bitterness)
      – печь (stove)

  3. Röyal says:

    How can I learn the most essential words in Russian?

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Röyal,

      You can use an app, like Memrise, Google it, or/and check out these links:
      https://learnrussianwords.com/tag/easy-russian/
      https://learnrussianwords.com/tag/essential-russian/
      https://learnrussianwords.com/tag/basic-russian/

  4. Röyal says:

    Hi! I want to build up some Russian vocabulary. How can I find the most essential nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and adverbs? If it is not the right time to learn them, then please show me the rightest way.

  5. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

    Thanks for your feedback.

  6. Samuel Sitompul says:

    Thank You Very Much… this is great

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