The curious genders in Russian

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! :warning:

:small_orange_diamond: Inanimate objects can have any of the three genders.

  • Дверь (door) - feminine
  • Стол (table) - masculine
  • Окно (window) - neuter

:small_orange_diamond: 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)

:small_orange_diamond: 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

:small_orange_diamond: 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! :heavy_heart_exclamation: