Russian is a language that has three genders: masculine (он - he), feminine (она - she) and neuter (оно - it).
One would think that, if the masculine is for men and the feminine for women, the neuter must be for inanimate objects. But no!
Inanimate objects can have any of the three genders.
- Дверь (door) - feminine
- Стол (table) - masculine
- Окно (window) - neuter
Animate objects usually have feminine or masculine gender. Animals, for example, often have variations to evidence gender change:
- Собака (dog - feminine)
- Пёс (dog - masculine)
- Медведь (bear - masculine)
- Медведица (bear - feminine)
What, then, is the neuter gender used for? For different inanimate subjects without binary gender, and some exceptions of animate objects:
- Солнце (sun) - neuter
- Животное (animal) - neuter
- Море (sea) - neuter
- Время (time) - neuter
So the next time you watch a Russian show on Lingopie, don’t be surprised if an inanimate subject is suddenly followed by a verb with a masculine or feminine pronoun: it means that it has that gender.
- (телефон) позвонил - (phone) he rang
- (дверь) открылась - (door) she opened
Anyway, here you have a little bit of info to better understand the Russian vocabulary.
If you have any questions you can ask in the comments!