Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Noun : Gender

We know that living beings are of either the male or the female sex.

A noun that denotes a male animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender.
A noun that denotes a female animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.
A noun that denotes either a male or a female is said to be if the Common Gender.
For example, parent, child, friend, pupil, servant, thief, enemy, cousin, person, student.

A Noun that denotes a thing that is neither male nor female is said to be of Neuter Gender.

Ways of Forming the Feminine of Nouns

There are three ways of forming the Feminine of Nouns
1. By using an entirely different word; as

Masculine - Feminine
Bachelor - maid, spinster
Boy - girl
Brother - sister
Buck - doe
Bull - cow
Bullock - heifer
Cock - hen
Dog - bitch
Drone - bee
Gentleman - lady
Horse - mare
Husband - wife
King - queen
Lord - lady
Sir - madam

2. By adding a syllable (-ess, -ine, -trix, -a ) as

Masculine - Feminine
Author - authoress
Baron - baroness
Count - countess
Giant - giantess
Host - hostess
Jew - jewess
Lion - lioness
Steward - stewardess
Poet - poetess
Shepherd - shepherdess
Actor - actress
Benefactor - benefactress
Conductor - conductress
Founder - foundress
Hunter - huntress
Prince - princess
Tiger - tigress
Waiter - waitress
Master - mistress
Duke - duchess
Emperor - empress
Murderer - murderess
Hero - heroine
Administrator - administratrix
Fox - vixen
Czar - czarina

3. By placing a word before or after as
Masculine - Feminine
Bull-calf - cow-calf
He-goat - she-goat
Jack-ass - jenny-ass
He-bear - she-bear
Man-servant - maid-servant
Grandfather - grandmother
Landlord - landlady
Peacock - peahen
Milkman - milkmaid

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