Noun & its Classifications (Part -3) - English Grammar Teaching Notes | EduRev

English Grammar

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Noun : Gender

What is gender ?

In grammar, there is a classification 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 of either the male or the female sex.

A B A B
Boy Girl Tiger Tigress
Actor Actress Man Woman
Hero Heroine Cock Hen
Lion Lioness Brother Sister


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.

A noun that denotes a male animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender.

A noun that denotes a female animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.

Besides, Masculine Gender and Feminine Gender, there is a gender which is said to be the Common Gender. In this, a noun that denotes either a male or a female is included.

As,
Parent, child, pupil, servant, friend, thief, relation, enemy, cousin, orphan, student, person, baby, guardian, monarch, infant, neighbour, tutor etc.

A noun that denotes a thing that is neither male nor female is said to be of Neuter Gender.

[Neuter means neither, i.e., neither male nor female.]

As,
Book, pen, table, chair, room, wall, tree, paper, ball, sword, radio, telephone, bag, cloth, cigarette, music, key, bus, auto, motor, song etc.

Masculine Gender is often applied to objects remarkable for strength, violence, sublimity and superiority.

As,
Death, time, winter, summer, the sun, fear, love etc.

Feminine Gender is often applied to objects remarkable for beauty, gentleness, gracefulness, fertility, softness, sweetness and weakness etc.

As,
The moon, the earth, spring, liberty, autumn, nature, charity, church, hope, justice, mercy, peace, religion, spring, truth, virtue, names of countries, locomotive engines, cars, ships and of arts and sciences.

Note : 1. Some Masculine nouns are used in the Common Gender.

As,  Actor,  Advocate, Author, Chairman, Doctor, Hound, Lawyer, Man, Painter, Poet, Teacher, Tutor, Hunter
2. Some Feminine nouns are used in the Common Gender.

As, Cow, Duck, Bee
3. Some Feminine nouns have no corresponding Masculine forms.

As,
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 modestry)

4. Some Masculines have no corresponding Feminines. 

As,
Captain, Judge, Knight, Squire, Parson

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