Gender in English

Gender in English

Nouns and pronouns can be divided into four kinds of gender. They are masculine, feminine, neuter and common gender.

Nouns and pronouns that stand for males are said to be of the masculine gender. Masculine gender is represented by the pronouns “he” and “him”.

Examples :

– boy, stallion, prince, king.
– He’s a handsome man, talk to him.
– He’s a very hilarious actor.

Nouns and pronouns that stand for females are said to be of the feminine gender. Feminine gender is represented by the pronouns “she” and “her”.

Examples :

– girl, mare, princess, queen.
– She’s a beautiful woman, talk to her.
– She’s a very hilarious actress.

Nouns and pronouns that stand for things without life are said to be of the neuter gender. Neuter gender is represented by the pronoun “it”.

Examples :

– bed, house, mug, book.
– It is my pen, but you can borrow it.
– This is your father’s book. Don’t put it there.

Nouns that can be used either a masculine or a feminine subject are said to be of the common gender. These words can stand for either male or female.

You can distinguish between the masculine and feminine forms by adding the words “male” or “female”.

Examples :

– friend, teacher, leader, parent.
– Tom is my friend. Jill is also my friend.
– Jack is my male teacher, and Sarah is my female teacher.

Feminine gender can be formed in following ways :

– When “-ess” is added to the masculine gender. Sometimes, we change the form of the masculine gender + adding “-ess” to form feminine gender.

– When a different word is used for feminine gender.
– By changing certain words in compound nouns.

Examples :

– prince > princess, poet > poetess, lion > lioness.
– waiter > waitress, actor > actress, tiger > tigress.
– man > woman, nephew > niece, drake > duck.
– grandson > granddaughter, milkman > milkwoman.


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