Lesson 018

The gender of Russian nouns

The audio for the lesson is available at the bottom of the screen under the blue button.

As you know from our lesson about Russian personal pronouns, the nouns in Russian language are divided into three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.

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

Feminine nouns

The feminine nouns end in , or .


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

Neuter nouns

The neuter nouns end in -O, or -МЯ. Examples:

– о́блако [ób-la-ka]cloud
– зна́ние [zná-nee-ye]knowledge
– со́лнце [són-tse]sun *
– время [vryé-mya]time *

Masculine nouns

The masculine nouns often have no ending, i.e. the last letter is a consonant. Sometimes they end on . Examples:

– день [dyen’]day
– год [got]year


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

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

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

* – Temporarily not in the audio

Now you know how to determine the gender of Russian nouns. Practice all these words with the audio recording.

Check yourself with the Russian grammar test “What gender?

Russian Pod 101

More lessons on the Russian nouns

5 comments on “018 – The gender of Russian nouns”

  1. 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:

  2. 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.

  3. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

    Thanks for your feedback.

  4. Samuel Sitompul says:

    Thank You Very Much… this is great

Your feedback and questions

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The offline version of the course includes the lessons in MP3 and PDF formats. The PDF files are available in two formats: for desktop and mobile devices.