- A noun in Russian is in the nominative case when it is the subject
of the sentence, or when it simply names a thing or a person. In
these situations you don't need to put an ending on the noun. The
noun looks exactly as it is in a dictionary.
- Nouns in Russian can be classified as belonging to one of three genders: masculine, faminine, or neuter. All nouns in Russian have gender.
- In English, gender reflects the sex of the being to which the noun refers. In Russian, gender is a grammatical category.
- It is very easy to tell the gender of a noun in Russian. The ending of the noun in the dictionary form will most often tell you its gender.
- Masculine nouns in Russian end in a consonant:
- Nouns that refer to male beings are masculine, even if they don't end in a consonant:
- Feminine nouns in Russian end in the vowels -а or -я:
- Some feminine nouns end in a soft sign (ь):
мать, дочь, кровать
- Nouns that refer to females are feminine, even if they don't end in one of these two letters.
- Neuter nouns in Russian end in -o or -e:
- Words that refer to foreign names of places or people are usually of foreign origin. When it comes to determining the gender of such nouns the rules are the same as for Russian words. If they end in a consonant, they are masculine. If they end in -а or -я (Атланта, Италия, Сара) they are feminine. You put the same endings on those as you would on Russian words. If a foreign word ends in any other letter it does not take any ending, it always stays the same. Here are some examples:
Огайо, Чикаго, Миссури, Баку, Джимми, Мэри.
- There are a few Russian words that that are of foreign origin that are hard to recognize as such because they were imported into Russian long time ago, and even to Russians they seem like Russian words: метро, кафе. You just have to memorize these words and don't put endings on them.
Exercises: 0022, 0668g