A-Z Challenge 2015: G is for Gender

What is Gender in Grammar? Gender is a category of noun. A noun’s gender determines how it behaves with other words. In English, nouns are categorized as masculine, feminine, or neuter depending on their meaning. Most nouns are neuter, unless they obviously refer to something male or female. Only the third person pronouns (i.e., hehissheherhersit, and its) reflect gender.

Examples:

  • The man takes his coat. (The gender of man is masculine. Therefore, the associated possessive adjective must be masculine too, i.e., his.)
  • The woman lost hers. (The gender of woman is feminine. Therefore, the associated absolute possessive pronoun must be feminine too, i.e., hers.)
  • The dog found its own way home. (The gender of dog is neuter in this example. Therefore, the associated possessive adjective must be neuter too, i.e., its.)

This seems to be pretty straight forward. It’s easy to recognize the gender of a noun and a common element in other languages.

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3 Responses

  1. Liesel Hill says:

    We don’t give most of our nouns gender in English, as you say. In other languages, you see a lot more gender-specific nouns. When I took French in high school, I remember laughing for hours with my friends about calling a calculator a “she.” 😀

    • R.K. Grow says:

      When I studied Russian it was all about the gender! The endings depended on it. Some seemingly masculine nouns would have feminine endings so there are always exceptions. I love it!

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