Russian Grammar – The Noun, Gender of Nouns

Russian Grammar – The Noun, Gender of Nouns

The Basics of Russian Grammar: Nouns

At the category “Russian Grammar” we show the basics of Russian Language grammar, describing most useful grammar rules, cases to let you learn Russian grammar more easily and effortlessly. Try to remember all rules and do the task of this lesson. If you have some questions – you can ask in at comments below the page.

This lesson is about Russian Nouns and its genders.

Russian nouns are the words that are answering for 2 main questions:

1) Who is it? (Кто это?)

2) What is it? (Что это?)

Russian Grammar Chart 1. Russian nouns

Кто это? Who is it?

Что это? What is it?

Это Иван. It is Ivan.

Это собака. It is a dog.

Это ручка. It is a pen.

Это комната. It is a room.


The question Кто? is asked about animate nouns (words denoting persons or animals).

The question Что? Is asked about inanimate nouns (words denoting objects).

The Gender of Russian Nouns

Russian nouns have gender, which is clearly expressed only in the singular. Russian nouns can be one of 3 genders: masculine, feminine or neuter.  The gender of a noun is basically shown by its ending. The gender of nouns denoting persons or animals is generally determined by their sex. However, most nouns denoting members of a profession are words of common gender and apply to persons of either sex.

Compare: Он студент (He is a student). Она студентка (She is a student). BUT Он инженер (He is an engineer). Она инженер (She is an engineer).

Russian Grammar Chart 2. Genders of Russian nouns

Masculine Ending Feminine Ending Neuter Ending
студент музей санаторий no ending-й студентка песня фамилия -а-я Окно Поле здание -о-е
словарь тетрадь


Nouns that ends at –ь (the soft mark) may be either masculine or femimine. Their gender must be memorized.

Task for you: try to understand the gender of the following nouns:

Слон, солнце, мама, конь, голова, стол, палец, любовь, ухо, девушка, герой

Russian Grammar Chart 3. The Personal Pronouns он, она, оно

Masculine Feminine Neuter
Он – he Она – she Оно – it

Unlike in English, the Russian pronouns он and она may replace not only animate, but also inanimate nouns. Example: Это Иван, он – студент (This is Ivan, he is a student). Это комната, она большая (This is a room, it is big).

Кто он? What is he? Кто она? What is she?
Он студент.  He is a student.Он инженер. He is an engineer Она студентка.She is a student.Она инженер. She is a an engineer.
Он русский. He is Russian.Он американец. He is American. Она русская. She is Russian.Она американка. She is American.

I believe this lesson was helpful. If you have some questions, please comment it below. Remember: you should learn just basics of Russian grammar, don’t concentrate on it too much! The best method of learning is massive input of easy reading and listening in Russianmore about this method.

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Oleg Vinzhegin,

Your personal guide into the world of excellent Russian speaking

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