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Word in focus

чувак  [choo-VAK] (masculine noun) – dude, man, guy

А кто этот чувак? Ты его раньше здесь видел? = Who is that guy? Have you seen him here before?

У тебя что, чувак, совсем крыша поехала? =  Dude, are you nuts?

Genders of nouns


All Russian nouns are divided into three categories: masculine, feminine and neuter. These categories are called genders. Nouns are conjugated according to their gender, and the conjugation of adjectives and verbs also depends on it, so it's extremely important to know which noun belongs to which category.

Actually, it's much easier than it sounds. In some other languages (for example, in French), you can't know the gender of a noun unless you look it up in a dictionary. In Russian there're some simple rules to help you: you just have to look at the ending of the noun.

Nouns ending in a consonant are masculine: человек (a person), телефон (a telephone).

Nouns ending in "а" or "я" are mainly feminine: собака (a dog), Мария (Maria).

Nouns ending in "ь" (soft sign) are mainly feminine, too: кровать (a bed), дочь (a daughter). Please, note that there're a few exceptions.

Nouns ending in "o" or "e" are neuter: письмо (a letter), полотенце (a towel).



Have a look at the words. You can click them to hear them pronounced.

письмо = a letter

телефон = a telephone

книга = a book

стол = a table

стул = a chair

газета = a newspaper

журнал = a magazine

ручка = a pen

ночь = a night


Now you can try this exercise.  After you've finished, click here to learn the words used in the exercise.