Can someone shed some light on this?

The differences in 1st. p. sg. past tense are obvious, but there should be some more discrepancies in male and female varieties of Russian than just preferences in swearing (like men are likely to swear more often and with a specific vocabulary).

There should be some more differences in monologue speech between the two genders.

Any ideas?

  • 3
    Could you give some clearer motivation for asking this? Using swearing as an instance of the difference in speech can be construed as impolite, whether or not you consider it to be so. One could just as well ask how men and women behave differently in other vulgar aspects of life, and I don't think such a topic would be appreciated.
    – KCd
    Jan 17, 2013 at 14:39
  • 2
    @KCd, actually the difference in speech patterns or "conversational rituals" between men and women is an active area of research in socio-linguistics. And how these differences manifest themselves in a particular language is a very interesting question, although I think it is far too broad for this site.
    – Dima
    Jan 17, 2013 at 15:27
  • 2
    The differences in sg. past tense (-л vs. -ла) refer only to the gender of the subject, but have nothing to do with the sex of the speaker: карандаш упал - книга упала. I'm sure there are no differences between male and female speech in Russian.
    – Yellow Sky
    Jan 17, 2013 at 16:48
  • 2
    I think this question is valid in the context of this forum. The forum is called Russian Language and Usage and this question is specifically about language usage.
    – Aleks G
    Jan 18, 2013 at 12:17
  • 1
    @shabunc Wait, this is a nearly four-year-old question you've put on hold today? Frankly this looks like, with nothing to currently rogue-moderate, you're having withdrawal symptoms. Dec 26, 2016 at 10:12

3 Answers 3


To be honest, as a native speaker I can assure you that absolutely no grammatic difference between male and female speech exists apart from the past tense you mentioned.

Culturally speaking, modern Russia is so westernized that any difference between genders erased from speech and you can easily find woman which speaks like a brute or a man who speaks tenderly and with care. Women swear, too, there's no unspoken rule about what obscenities are allowed to only men or only women. So, no difference there, too.

  • 3
    There may be no rule, but there could be measurable and statistically significant difference in frequency of usage between genders (or no difference, which would be unexpected, but that is what science for). Point is, without research it is just a hypothesis.
    – theUg
    Jan 19, 2013 at 1:22
  • Statistics give nothing. It is all about syntax and predicativeness.
    – Manjusri
    Jan 21, 2013 at 10:06

I think that your question is interesting, but too broad for this forum. You have already pointed out grammatical differences in the past tense: Я сказал vs. Я сказала. Beyond that, I am sure there are differences in intonation, vocabulary, and probably many other factors.

I have recently listened to an audio course called He Said/She Said: Women, Men and Language by Deborah Tannen. Naturally, her research mainly involves English speakers. She points out that women speaking English tend to use rising intonation more often then men, making their statements sound a bit like questions. She also talks about how men tend to talk to convey information, while women tend to use conversation to maintain relationships.

As I have said, this is all pertaining to the speakers of English, but this might be a starting point for you, if you wish to look for similar research concerning the speakers of Russian.

  • Asking this OP to do research, is like waiting for the weather by the sea. Sorry, could not resist. :)
    – theUg
    Jan 19, 2013 at 0:59
  • @theUg, that just doesn't sound right in English. :) Getting back to the point, I am not waiting for anything. I cannot answer the question, but I can point the OP to where the answer may be found. The rest is up to the OP. :)
    – Dima
    Jan 20, 2013 at 23:33

What about Я рад if a man says it, but if a woman says it, it's Я рада. In English, there's no spelling or pronouncing differences but this is what I was wondering about.

  • OP writes "The differences in 1st. p. sg. past tense are obvious..." - I think "Я рад/рада" is exactly what he meant.
    – Artemix
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:41

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