Gender of the Noun

Noun Gender

Gender of the Noun:

Noun Gender

Introduction:

The word ‘Gender’ comes from the Latin word ‘genus’ which means ‘kind’ or ‘type’. A Gender is a noun that shows whether the noun is Masculine, Feminine, Common or Neuter.

Thus, there are four types of Genders in English Grammar.

 

Types of Genders:

 

Masculine Gender: A noun that denotes a male person or animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender. 

Examples:

Boy, man, father, son, brother, husband, lion, actor, poet, manager, prince, policeman, nephew, hero etc.,

 

Feminine Gender: A noun that denotes a female person or animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.

Examples:

Girl, woman, mother, daughter, sister, wife, lioness, actress, poetess, manageress, princess, policewoman, niece, heroine etc.,

 

Common Gender: A noun that denotes either a male or a female is said to be of the Common Gender.

Examples:

Parent, child, friend, pupil, servant, thief, enemy, cousin, person, orphan, student, baby, monarch, neighbour, infant etc.,

 

Neuter Gender: A noun that denotes a thing that is neither male nor female is said to be of the Neuter Gender.  It expresses the inanimate things that do not have life, like human beings.

Examples:

Book, pen, room, table, tree, bike, car, chair, house, computer, mobile, etc.,

 

Sometimes, inanimate or lifeless objects are often personified, that is, described as if they were living beings. Such things are regarded as male or female and the nouns expressing them are considered as Masculine or Feminine. 

 

Generally, the things or objects remarkable for strength, greatness, vitality, superiority and violence are regarded as the Masculine Gender. 

 

For example: 

The Sun, Summer, Winter, Time, Death, Ocean, Thunder, Wind, War etc.,

The sun sheds his bright light on all creatures alike. 

 

The things or objects remarkable for beauty, gentleness, and gracefulness, inferiority are regarded as the Feminine Gender.

 

For example:

The Moon, the Earth, Spring, Autumn, Nature, Liberty, Justice, Mercy, Peace, Hope, Charity jealousy, humility etc.,

  • The moon doth with delight look round her. (Wordsworth)
  • Love virtue, she alone is free. (Milton)
  • Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war. (Milton)

 

Formation of Genders:

Ways of Forming the Feminine of Nouns: 

 

1.By adding -’ess’ to the Masculine Gender:

Masculine — Feminine 

  • author — authoress 
  • baron — baroness 
  • count — countess 
  • giant — giantess 
  • heir — heiress 
  • host — hostess 
  • jew — jewess 
  • lion — lioness 
  • manager — manageress 
  • mayor — mayoress 
  • patron — patroness 
  • peer — peeress 
  • poet — poetess 
  • priest — priestess 
  • prophet — prophetess 
  • shepherd — shepherdess 
  • steward — stewardess 
  • usher — usheress

 

2.By adding a syllable (-ine, -trix, -a) to the Masculine Gender:

Masculine — Feminine 

  • executor — executrix
  • testator — testatrix 
  • czar — czarina 
  • sultan — sultana 
  • signor — signora 

 

Also, remember:

  • hero — heroine 
  • bridegroom — bride
  • widower — widow
  • lad — lass
  • Mr — Mrs

 

3.By removing the last vowel in the Masculine Gender and adding -’ess’ at the end of the word:

Masculine — Feminine 

  • actor — actress 
  • benefactor — benefactress 
  • conductor — conductress 
  • founder — foundress 
  • hunter — huntress 
  • instructor — instructress 
  • negro — negress 
  • abbot — abbess 
  • duke — duchess 
  • emperor — empress 
  • preceptor — preceptress 
  • prince — princess 
  • songster — songstress 
  • tempter — temptress 
  • tiger — tigress 
  • waiter — waitress 
  • master — mistress 
  • murderer — murderess 
  • sorcerer — sorceress 

 

4. By removing a Masculine Word and placing a Feminine Word before or after:

Masculine — Feminine 

  • boy-friend — girl-friend
  • bull-calf — cow-calf
  • cock-sparrow — hen-sparrow
  • he-goat — she-goat
  • he-bear — she-bear
  • he-buffalo — she-buffalo
  • grandfather — grandmother 
  • great uncle — great aunt 
  • manservant — maidservant 
  • milkman — milkwoman
  • landlord — landlady 
  • fisherman — fisherwoman
  • milkman — milkwoman 
  • peacock — peahen 
  • salesman — saleswoman 
  • step-son — step-daughter
  • washerman — washerwoman

 

5. By using an entirely different word:

Masculine — Feminine 

  • Bachelor — maid, spinster 
  • Boar — sow
  • Boy — girl 
  • Brother — sister 
  • Buck — doe 
  • Bull (or ox) — cow 
  • Bullock — heifer 
  • Cock — hen 
  • Colt — filly 
  • Dog — bitch 
  • Drake — duck 
  • Drone — bee 
  • Earl — countess 
  • Father — mother 
  • Fox – vixen
  • Gander — goose 
  • Gentleman — lady 
  • Hart — roe 
  • Horse — mare 
  • Husband — wife 
  • King — queen 
  • Lord — lady 
  • Man — woman 
  • Monk — nun 
  • Nephew — niece 
  • Papa — mamma 
  • Ram — ewe 
  • Sir — madam 
  • Son — daughter 
  • Stag — hind 
  • Uncle — aunt 
  • Wizard — witch 
  • father – Mother

 

Gender Exercise:

Write the opposite genders of the following:

  1. Lion
  2. Gentleman
  3. Poet
  4. Niece
  5. Hero
  6. Mare
  7. She-buffalo
  8. Bitch
  9. Goddess
  10. Queen
  11. Father
  12. Peahen
  13. Aunt
  14. Sister-in-law
  15. Negro
  16. Widow
  17. Spinster
  18. Earl
  19. Hostess
  20. Tiger

Answers:

  1. Lioness
  2. Gentlewoman
  3. Poetess
  4. Nephew
  5. Heroine
  6. Horse
  7. He-buffalo
  8. Dog
  9. God
  10. King
  11. Mother
  12. Peacock
  13. Uncle
  14. Brother-in-law
  15. Negress
  16. Widower
  17. Bachelor
  18. Countess
  19. Host
  20. Tigress

 

Gender of the Nouns PDF Worksheet