Gender Identification

Nouns in Russian are split into 3 genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter. Nouns are assigned gender in two ways, grammatically and naturally. Grammatically assigned nouns are assigned gender on the basis of their ending. Naturally assigned nouns are assigned gender on the basis of their context, e.g., man is masculine, woman is feminine, etc.

Masculine

Masculine nouns end in consonants and й.

Examples of Masculine Nouns:

However,there are exceptions to the consonant ending for masculine nouns. This is were the natural gender comes into play. It might have a feminine ending, but due to the meaning of the word it is masculine in gender.

Feminine

Feminine nouns end in а and я.

Examples of Feminine Nouns:

Neuter

Neuter nouns end in о and е.

Examples of Neuter Nouns:

Soft Ending (ь) Nouns

Most nouns ending in ь are feminine, but there are masculine ones too. For instance all of the names of the months are masculine. So with soft ending nouns you will just have to memorize which ones are feminine or masculine.

Examples of Soft Ending Feminine Nouns: Examples of Soft Ending Masculine Nouns:

Foreign Origin Nouns

Foreign origin nouns are nouns that are borrowed from other languages. If a noun ends in и, у, or ю it is likely to be foreign and if that's the case then it's gender would be neuter.

Examples:

However if the foreign word denotes something of a feminine meaning then its gender is feminine.

Examples: