Gender of nouns in Hebrew




Another thing we need to note about the Hebrew language is that nouns do have genders. In French (my native language) we also have that concept, but I understand that it is harder for English speakers. Growing up with that idea of gender has always been normal to me; to be honest I was a bit surprised at first when (while learning English) that English does not have it. The types of noun genders in Hebrew are Masculine and Feminine. The subject in Hebrew as I said is divided into masculine and feminine. There is nothing male or female about objects, but when talking about them the verb and adjectives should conjugate corresponding to their gender .

The majority of feminine nouns end in the letter  ת or the letter ה. while the majority of masculine nouns end in every other letter. Here are a few examples:

Feminine nouns end with ה
Girl יַלְדָּה
Aunt דּוֹדָה
Family מִשְׁפָּחָה
Dress שִׂמְלָה
Experience חֲוָיָה
List רְשִׁימָה

Exception: It is not that every noun that ends with ה is a feminine. Dustpan (=יָעֶה) for instance is masculine, its ה is not the feminine ה but a part of its root.


Feminine nouns end with ת
Daughter בַּת
Notebook מַחְבֶּרֶת
Frying pan מַחֲבַת
Car מְכוֹנִית
Truth אֱמֶת
Friendship חֲבֵרוּת

Exception: same here, not every noun that ends with ת is a feminine. Junction (=צֹמֶת) for instance is a masculine, its ת is not the feminine ת, but a part of its root.

Also, some nouns are assigned to a certain gender logically, like the word  יַלְדָה (yalda – girl) being feminine and יֵלֶד (yeled – boy) being masculine.

There are other exceptions, but I did not bother learning them all because it was too hard. Nevertheless, these are the main ones. Now I know when a noun is generally feminine or not.

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