Russian For Everyone Learn Russian Language Online

Self study guide for elementary level learners of Russian
and for intermediate level students who wish to review basic grammar and vocabulary




Grammar Lesson 2

Gender of Nouns: Hard and Soft Stems. Exceptions




Russian grammar and vocabulary. Unit 1
Grammar Lesson 1
Gender of Nouns: Hard Stem. Personal pronouns (he), (she), (it). "The" and "a"."To be" in the Present tense
Grammar Lesson 2
Gender of Nouns: Hard and Soft Stems. Exceptions
Grammar Lesson 3
Nominative Plural of Nouns
Grammar Lesson 4
Personal Pronouns , , , , , , , . vs.
Phrasebook Topic 3
Professions
Phrasebook Topic 4
Learn Russian Names: Last Name, First Name and Patronimic
Quiz 5
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 1-4 and Phrasebook Topics 3-4 with this 20 minute quiz.
Test 1
Check what you have learned from Russian Letters and Sound System section and Grammar Lessons 1-4

                                                       Gender of Nouns (2)

 
 1. Hard Stems and Soft Stems
Nouns of masculine, feminine and neuter gender have hard stems or soft stems. 
  • Hard stem ends in a hard consonant: -Ø, -, - (final , , are hard in these words).
  • Soft stem ends in a soft consonant: -, -, - (final , , are soft in these words).

We learned earlier that a hard consonant is indicated by the vowels , , , , ; a soft consonant is indicated by the vowels , , , , and the soft sign

If a paired consonant is the last letter in a word it is considered hard (see Pronunciation and Spelling Guide for more details and examples).

  • Soft stems of masculine nouns are indicated by the letters - and - (soft sign):  , .
  • Soft stems of feminine nouns are indicated by - and -, .
  • Soft stems of neuter nouns are indicated by - and -, .
For the nouns that end in , you must learn their gender when you learn the words. Feminine nouns that end in are labeled as f.or ., in the word lists and dictionaries, for example:  . - door (if a noun that ends in has no special label, it is masculine).

 . (= ) -  f. (=feminine); 

Compare the spelling and pronunciation of hard and soft stem nouns. Click the words to listen.
 

 

 

 

Hard stem

Soft stem

Masculine

-Ø

-

house, museum

-

dictionary

Feminine

-

-

lamp, song

-

door

Neuter

-

-

window, gun

-

sea

 

 2.

Exceptions: Masculine or Feminine?

All nouns referring to men and boys are masculine, even though some of them end in - or -.For example: - dad, - grandfather, - uncle, and many men's and boy's nicknames: , , , etc.
Exercises  
Vocabulary building: memorize the gender of most common nouns that end in
Practice determining the gender of nouns (focus on nouns that end in and exceptions)
Practice determining the gender of nouns (focus on nouns that end in and exceptions)

Back to main