Saturday, July 9, 2011


*What in nature is called the difference of sex of in grammar called the difference of Gender. --> J. C. Nesfield.

There are four kinds of Gender:
01.Nouns denoting male animals: Masculine
02.Nouns denoting female animals: Feminine
03. Nouns denoting animals of either sex: Common
04. Nouns denoting things without life: Neuter

A noun that denotes a male animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender.
Examples: Boy, Lion, Hero, Boy-friend.

A noun that denotes a female animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.
Examples: Girl, Lioness, Heroine, Girl-friend.

A noun that denotes either a male or a female is said to be of the Common Gender.
Examples: Parent, child, baby, infant, friend, people, enemy, thief, servant, cousin, orphan, student, teacher, etc.

A noun that denotes things without life is said to be of Neuter Gender.
Examples: Book, pen, chair, gold, silver, iron, etc.

Personal masculine/feminine nouns
01. Different forms:
a) boy, girl                  gentleman, lady                son, daughter
    bachelor,                spinster husband,            wife uncle, aunt
    bridegroom,           bride man,                        woman widower, widow

Main exceptions:
    baby                                  infant                                    relative
    child                                   parent                                  spouse
    cousin                               relation                                teenager

b) duke, duchess           king, queen                prince, princess
    earl, countess             lord, lady                               

02. The majority of personal nouns have the same from.
        artist                       cook             driver            guide
        assistant               dancer         doctor            etc.

Main exceptions:
actor, actress                                                            host, hostess
conductor, conductress                                            manager manageress
heir, heiress                                                              waiter, waitress

Also salesman, saleswoman etc, but sometimes-person is used instead of – man, -woman: salesperson, spokesperson.

03. Domestic animals and many of the larger wild animals have different forms:
bull, cow                              duck, drake                        ram, ewe             stallion, mare
cock, hen                            gander, goose                   stag, doe             tiger, tigress
dog, bitch                            lion, lioness               
Others have the same form.

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