Russian Grammar 102 – Gender of Nouns

In Russian each noun is assigned to a gender. Russian has three different genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter.

1. Check the last letter of the word: if it is a consonant, or “й”, the word is masculine.


стол – table
пол – floor
край – edge
хлеб – bread

2. If it is “а” or “я” the name is feminine.


сумка – bag
петля – loop
вилка – fork

3. If it is “о” or “е” the name is neuter.


окно – window
здоровье – health
солнце – sun

4. If it is a soft sign “ь” then it could be either masculine or feminine.


ночь – night (feminine)
ноготь – nail (masculine)

There are a very few exceptions to these rules. But there are five important ones, occuring mainly because of the physical gender.
Папа – Daddy is masculine
Дядя – Uncle is masculine
Дедушка – Grandfather is masculine
Мужчина – Man is masculine
Кофе – Coffee is masculine (however neuter is now acceptable)

Attention! Nouns used only in a plural form do not have a gender.


брюки – pants
ясли – nursery
вилы – pitchfork
макароны – macaroni

EXERCISE: 102 Gender | NEXT: 103 Plural