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Masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns in English

1. What is the gender of nouns in English?

In English, unlike German, it is easy to determine the gender of a noun.

  • With people you either take hey or she.
  • For animals and things it says it.
maleFemale
brothersister
nephewniece
boyfriendgirlfriend
actoractress
waiterwaitress

There are many nouns in English that it is not clear whether it is a male or a female person, such as cousin, doctor, singer, student, teacher. An extra word can determine the gender more precisely, e.g. boyfriend / girlfriend. The ending -ess is an identifier for a female person, e.g. waiter / waitress.

2. Special features - animals

If the sex of the animal is known, can one for the animal too he / she to use. In the case of pets, it is often common hey or she to use.

  • Where is the cat? She is in the garden. (Where's the cat? It's in the garden.)

3. Special features - ships, cars, countries

The female form is still used in English for ships and partly also for cars and countries, but this is rather out of date. The tendency is to use it.

  • The Titanic was a great ship, but she hit an iceberg and sank. (The Titanic was a large ship, but it hit an iceberg and sank.)