Genders and plural of Russian nouns

Nouns can belong to one of 3 genders in Russian language: masculine, feminine, and neuter. The grammatical gender is not a physical gender, it is different things.

There are masculine(m), feminine(f), and neuter(n) genders in the Russian language.

The grammatical gender of a noun indicates the belonging  to one of the three pronouns – ОН, ОНА, ОНО (he, she, it).

For example:

КОМПЬЮТЕР, ОН МОЙ – a computer, it is mine (masculine)

МАШИНА, ОНА МОЯ – a car, it is mine (feminine)

ПИВО, ОНО МОЁ – beer, it is mine (neuter)

So, in English we use “it” for all words when we say “it is mine”, but in Russian we say “he is mine, she is mine, it is mine” for all words but not only people.

How to distinguish these genders? Definitely, by endings:

Masculine: endings with consonant sounds;

Feminine: endings with vowels and soft sign –Ь.

Neuter: -О, -Е.

There are some exceptions, where ending of grammatical gender doesn’t match same physical gender. These words are: ДЯДЯ – uncle, ДЕДУШКА – grandfather, МУЖЧИНА – man, ПАПА – dad.

EXAMPLES:

СЫН – son(m), ДОЧЬ – daughter(f), МАТЬ – mother(f), ОТЕЦ – father(m), ЗДАНИЕ – building(n) , ПОСТЕЛЬ – bed(f), ДИВАН – sofa(m), ВИНО – wine(n).

МОЙ СЫН, ТВОЯ ДОЧЬ My son, your daughter

НАШЕ ВИНО ВКУСНОЕ Our wine is tasty

ИХ ДОМ ОЧЕНЬ БОЛЬШОЙ Their house is very big

PLURAL

Masculine nouns.

For words ending in a voiced consonant (Б, В, Г, Д, Л, М, Н, Р) or Ъ – add [-Ы].

For words ending in an unvoiced consonant (К, Т, Ш, Щ, П, Ф, Х, Ч) or Ь — add [-И].

For words ending in –ОК, -ЕЦ change the ending to –КИ, -ЦЫ.

Feminine nouns.

For words ending in –Я or –Ь, replace –Я or -И with –И.

For words ending in –A, replace –А with –Ы, but if there is one of these consonants Г, К, Х, Ж, Ч, Ш, Щ before –А, replace –А with -И.

Neuter nouns

Replace [-Е] with [-Я], and [-О] with [-А]

Examples

ОТЕЛЬ(m) – ОТЕЛИ hotel – hotels

ТЕАТР(m) – ТЕАТРЫ theater – theaters

КНИГА(f) – КНИГИ book – books

КОМАНДА(f) – КОМАНДЫ team – teams

РАСПИСАНИЕ(n) – РАСПИСАНИЯ schedule – schedules

СОРЕВНОВАНИЕ(n) – СОРЕВНОВАНИЯ competition – competitions

СОБЕСЕДОВАНИЕ(n) – СОБЕСЕДОВАНИЯ job interview – job interviews

ЧИСЛО(n) – ЧИСЛА number – numbers

There are many irregular plural nouns; these are the most used:

ДРУГ – ДРУЗЬЯ friend-friends

ДЕРЕВО – ДЕРЕВЬЯ tree-trees

БРАТ – БРАТЬЯ brother-brothers

СЕСТРА – СЁСТРЫ sister-sisters

СТУЛ – СТУЛЬЯ chair-chairs

МАТЬ – МАТЕРИ mother-mothers

ДОЧЬ – ДОЧЕРИ daughter-daughter

АДРЕС – АДРЕСА  address-addresses

ГЛАЗ – ГЛАЗА eye-eyes

ГОРОД – ГОРОДА city-cities

ДОМ – ДОМА house-houses

ЦВЕТ – ЦВЕТА color-colors

ЧЕЛОВЕК – ЛЮДИ human-humans

РЕБЁНОК – ДЕТИ child-children

РОТ – РТЫ mouth-mouths

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