Gender of Nouns

After proper and common nouns, singular and plural nouns, countable and uncountable nouns, collective nouns, abstract and concrete nouns, now we are looking at the gender of nouns.

Nouns that refer to the males belong to the masculine gender. Nouns which refer to the females belong to the feminine gender.

There are many ways of forming the feminine gender from the masculine gender. In many cases, there is a different word altogether, to denote the feminine gender.

Example are given below.

father – mother
fox – vixen
goose – gander
earl – countess
drone – bee
brother – sister
boy – girl
bachelor – spinster
boar – sow
husband – wife
lord – lady
king – queen
sir – madam
uncle – aunt
stallion – mare
nephew – niece
monk – nun

In some other cases, by just adding an ‘ess’ we can form the feminine gender.
Examples are:
god – goddess
host – hostess
steward – stewardess
baron – baroness
priest – priestess
baron – baroness
count – countess
shepherd – shepherdess

Yet another way to form the feminine gender is to leave out a vowel and add ‘-ess’. Examples are:
actor – actress
duke – duchess
emperor – empress
master – mistress
prince – princess
tiger – tigress
waiter – waitress

By changing part of a compound word also, the feminine gender can be formed.
Examples are:
billy-goat – nanny – goat
bridegroom – bride
father-in-law – mother-in-law
grandfather – grandmother
headmaster – headmistress
he-bear – she-bear
landlord – landlady
manservant – maidservant
milkman – milkmaid
pea-cock – pea-hen
son-in-law – daughter-in-law
step-father – step-mother
step-son – step-daughter
tom-cat – tabby-cat

Worksheets for Beginner Level Learners
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