What is gender ?
In grammar there is a classifications of a Noun or Pronoun as Masculine or Feminine. Therefore, gender is the sexual classification in grammar. Gender comes from Latin genus, meaning kind or sort.
We know that living beings are either the male or the female sex.
- The words in the first column under A are the names of all male animals.
- And, the words in the second column under B are the names of all female animals.
Types of Gender
There are four types of gender in English: Masculine Gender, Feminine Gender, Common Gender and Neuter Gender.
1. Masculine Gender
A noun that denotes a male animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender.
Tiger, Men, Boy, Brother, Father etc.
Masculine Gender is often applied to objects remarkable for strength, violence, sublimity and superiority.
Death, time, winter, summer, the sun, fear, love etc.
2. Feminine Gender
A noun that denotes a female animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.
Tigress, Women, Girl, Sister, Mother etc.
Feminine Gender is often applied to objects remarkable for beauty, gentleness gracefulness, fertility, softness, Sweetness and weakness etc.
The moon, the earth, spring, liberty, autumn, nature, charity, church, hope, justice, mercy, peace, religion, spring, truth, viture, names of countries, locomotive engines, cars, ships and of arts and sciences.
3. Common Gender
Besides, Masculine Gender and Feminine Gender, there is a gender which is said to be the Common Gender. In this gender, a noun that denotes either a male or a female is included.
parent, child, pupil, servant, friend, thief, relation, enemy, cousin, orphan, student, person, baby, guardian, monarch, infant, neighbour, tutor etc.
4. Neuter Gender
A noun that denotes a thing that is neither male nor female is said to be of Neuter Gender. (Neuter means neither male nor female.)
Book, pen, table, chair, room, wall, tree, paper, ball, Sword, radio, telephone, bag, cloth, cigarette, music, key, bus, auto, motor, song etc.
FORMATION OF FEMININE NOUNS FROM THE MASCULINE
There are three ways of forming the feminine from the masculine.
1. By using a diferent word:
|Bachelor||Maid, Spinster||Horse (or Stalion)||Mare|
|Colt||Filly||Dog (or Hound)||Bitch|
|Monk (or Frian)||Nun||Lad||Lass|
|Bullock||Heifer||Bull (or Ox)||Cow|
2. By adding a syllable ( ess, ine, trix, a etc.):
3. By substituting a feminine word for a masculine in compound words:
Again, “ess” is added after dropping the vowel of the masculine ending.
1. Some Masculine Nouns are used in the Common Gender
Actor, Advocate, Author, Chairman, Doctor, Hound, Lawyer, Man, Painter, Poet, Teacher, Tutor, Hunter.
2. Some Feminine Nouns are used in the Common Gender
Cow, Duck, Bee.
3. Some Feminine Nouns have no corresponding Masculine forms
- House-wife (mistress of the house).
- Virgin (an unmarried woman).
- Flirt (woman pretending to make love).
- Virago (a turbulent woman).
- Dowager (widow with late husband’s property).
- Siren (an enticing woman).
- Brunette (a dark-complexioned woman).
- Prude (a woman of a affected modesty).
4. Some Masculines have no corresponding Feminines
Captain, Judge, Knight, Squire, Person.