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43 votes
Accepted

Russian word for a male zebra

Russian has a long standing tradition of narrating fables (stories featuring anthropomorphic animals). In this tradition, the grammatical gender of name of the species (not necessarily the proper ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
34 votes

Russian word for female teacher

Училка is extremely disrespectful and nobody calls teachers like that apart from pupils, учительница is a widely accepted feminitive, so just go with it. There's ongoing discussion in Russian-language ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
33 votes
Accepted

"Член клуба" - how to use "член" in feminine here?

In Russian, член is only male, and adjectives referring to that noun should agree with it in masculine, too: Великобритания — постоянный член Совета Безопасности ООН. or Великобритания — член ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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28 votes

Why did "он" suddenly become so much more common?

Actually, the year is not "around 1915", but the beginning of 1918 when the orthography reform began. Before 1918 "он" was written as "онъ", and naturally before 1918 "он" was not used. Have a look: ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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21 votes

Russian word for a male zebra

Zebra is a kind of horse, so жеребец (meaning stallion, a male horse) would be a perfectly valid word to refer to a male zebra. Of course it has to be clear from the context that the male horse you're ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
18 votes

"Член клуба" - how to use "член" in feminine here?

Please don't. Many feminitives sound like mockery (директорша, врачиха), unless they are well-established (учительница, официантка, вахтёрша). Even when fairly acceptable feminine versions exist, ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why is “had no choice” translated as «не было выбора» and not «не был выбора»?

Russian has two distinctive features. The first one is the proximal possession. У меня есть выбор ("I have a choice") literally translates as "there is a choice by (or next to) me"....
Quassnoi's user avatar
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15 votes

Russian word for female teacher

Whilst the previous answer gives a general understanding, I think it's worth adding a few more points here. All three options: "учитель", "учительница" or "училка" may actually take place and merely ...
Vladimir Salin's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Succinct and gender-neutral Russian word for "writer"

In Russia there's ongoing discussion - and it's getting quite fervent- on whether so called feminitives (the English wiki is called just "Gender_marking_in_job_titles") should or shouldn't be used. ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
11 votes

Russian word for a male zebra

Usually, the developed lexicon for some species comes into existence due to the importance of such species in the everyday life of some specific region. That's why we have "кобель", "сука", "щенок"; "...
shabunc's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

"В об(о,е)их коробках оказались семена" - which vowel should I choose?

You can interpret "коробки" as a plural of "коробка" or "коробок", so it's obviously a trick question. With seeds either one would make sense. The examples you've found are indeed utterly incorrect ...
AR.'s user avatar
  • 1,740
10 votes

Russian word for a male zebra

In Russian, both the male and female form of zebra is "зебра". Зебра стала лидершей табуна и могла выбирать себе партнерш для спаривания The correct form would be "Зебра стал лидером табуна и мог ...
Животновод's user avatar
10 votes

Succinct and gender-neutral Russian word for "writer"

Currently in Russian collective designation of people engaged in the same profession or occupation defaults to the plural masculine form, in which case it becomes unisex even if a feminine form exists ...
Баян Купи-ка's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Wuhan: masculine, feminine, or either?

Most sources I could find consider Ухань (sic) a masculine word: от Уханя, к Уханю etc.: БРЭ БСЭ Географическая энциклопедия , but there are some that consider it feminine: Словарь собственных имён ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
10 votes

"Член клуба" - how to use "член" in feminine here?

There are tree facts we try to cram into a single sentence: OP is member of Japanese Renju association OP is female Women are minority in Japanese Renju association I believe the translation Я ...
brainkz's user avatar
  • 201
8 votes
Accepted

Why is the adjective "главное" in neuter gender?

Here an adjective "главный" becomes a noun (the substantivation). The neuter form is chosen because "the main thing" (which it stands for) is a pure abstraction. It could also be, for example, "...
Matt's user avatar
  • 15.2k
8 votes

Is it correct to say 'две штуки' or 'два штуки' when talking about something masculine?

Definitely две because штуки is feminine. As for пельмень, it's masculine, so the correct form is два пельменя.
Dmitry's user avatar
  • 8,436
7 votes
Accepted

Adjective gender for terms of endearment

The gender of pronoun should match the gender of the endearment word. Another example, there's a word of endearment зайчонок (bunny). When applied to a woman, as it often is, the combination looks ...
Баян Купи-ка's user avatar
7 votes

Why is the adjective "главное" in neuter gender?

It's a nominalized adjective, similar to those in English "orange is the new black", "eat fresh", "bowl of red" etc. It acts as a subject in this sentence, and, therefore, does not have to agree in ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Which grammatical situations depend on the literal gender of a speaker?

Almost anything that can serve as an adjective: adjectives proper, participles, ordinal numerals, possessive pronouns etc.: Я красивый (m.) / я красивая (f.) Я богат (m.) / я богата (f.) Я обиженный (...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.8k
7 votes

"Член клуба" - how to use "член" in feminine here?

There's no feminine for член apart intentionally comic and use exclusively as such "членша". The reason for this is that член is like ветка or отросток or ответвление - throughout the history of ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
7 votes

Why is “had no choice” translated as «не было выбора» and not «не был выбора»?

The verb cannot agree with выбор in gender or number because it's not in the nominative case (выбор is not the subject of the sentence). Therefore there's no reason to choose masculine over neuter for ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
6 votes

Russian word for a male zebra

Maybe just name this male zebra? Зебра Степан sounds great! Зебра Степан - единственный Степан в Африке!
Dimasik's user avatar
  • 59
6 votes

Russian word for a male zebra

That's the matter of personal choice. But as we speaking of animals, I'd like to mention that in the classical Russian translation of "The Jungle Book" Bagheera simply becomes "she" to match his name ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 15.2k
6 votes

Why does the word "мужчина" decline like a feminine noun?

It doesn't decline like a feminine noun. It declines like a noun of the first declension, which includes both masculine and feminine nouns ending in -а or -я. Examples of first declension masculine ...
Dima's user avatar
  • 3,126
6 votes
Accepted

Why is "животное" neuter even though it's animate?

The real answer is the claim that "in principle all animate nouns are either masculine or feminine but cannot be neutral" is false. For instance, we consider obsolete yet existent word "дитё" (or "...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
5 votes
Accepted

Gender agreement for verbs and adjectives

There's a subject-verb agreement like in your first sentence. Я иду, ты идешь, он идет, мы идем, вы идете, они идут (see verb conjugation)(present). Я был (была), ты был (была), он был, она была, мы ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.6k
5 votes

Why does the word "мужчина" decline like a feminine noun?

Not all words in Russian ending with -a are feminine, so the question is quite incorrect. When we use any definition, like "clever", there appears masculine ending -ый, that shows we talk of a ...
Seyrios's user avatar
  • 99
5 votes

Как называются слова, меняющие значение в зависимости от рода: как "машинист" и "машинистка"?

There's no specific term a single word one can use however there are some related terminology. Generally speaking this is a phenomena of gender-related semantic differences - when grammatical gender ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
5 votes

Genders - Nouns with "ь"

A bit late to the party but I still feel my answer would be useful. You might find the rules listed in the other two answers problematic as they have lots of exceptions and they often require some ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar

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