The gender of Russian nouns
The audio for the lesson is available at the bottom of the screen under the blue button.
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.
The feminine nouns end in -А, -Я or -Ь.
– кни́га [knée-ga] – book
– неде́ля [nee-dyé-lya] – week
– ночь [noch’] – night
The neuter nouns end in -O, -Е or -МЯ. Examples:
– о́блако [ób-la-ka] – cloud
– зна́ние [zná-nee-ye] – knowledge
– со́лнце [són-tse] – sun *
– время [vryé-mya] – time *
The masculine nouns often have no ending, i.e. the last letter is a consonant. Sometimes they end on -Ь. 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?”
More lessons on the Russian nouns
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