Knowing the gender of a noun is very important in Slovene, especially if you want to use the correct declension. Slovene nouns are categorized in 3 genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.
Slovene is also very precise, but it can be very tricky at the same time.
Masculine nouns in Slovene generally end with a consonant (i.e. stol – chair; telefon – telephone; računalnik – computer…).
However, there’s some exceptions:
- international words that doesn’t end with the usual consonant(i.e. avto, radio, taksi, hobi, kanu, nivo, metro, abonma, kino, kuli, bife…) and
- masculine names (i.e. Tone, Jože, Žiga, Miha, Luka…) and also oče – father.
Feminine nouns in Slovene usually end with an “a” (i.e. miza – table, torbica – handbag, omara – cabinet…).
However, there’s some exceptions as well:
- words ending with -EV, -OST (i.e. cerkev – church; breskev – peach; lastnost – property; starost – age…),
- some words ending with -EN, -EM, -EL (i.e. ljubezen – love; pesem – song; misel – thought…) and
- some short nouns (i.e. miš – mouse; luč – light; kri – blood; stvar – thing…).
The list of Feminine nouns exceptions is pretty long and you just have to know it by ❤ , but we will learn about it in another post.
Neuter nouns in Slovene are easier to recognized as they end with “e” or “o” (i.e. sonce – sun; morje – sea; letalo – airplane, kolo – bike; drevo – tree…). Although, be careful that they aren’t an exceptions in the masculine category.
Remember, this are guidelines how to determine the gender of nouns in their first form (the one you will find in the dictionary), which is the singular form in the Slovene First Sklon – Nominative.
The Slovene language has a lot of exceptions, and one tool I like to use, especially when I’m not sure of the gender, is Amebis Besana. You type in the word as it is and it will show you the noun in singular, dual, plural as well as in all its possible forms.
If you have any questions or other tools that you use and would like to share with me, don’t be shy and drop me a comment below!
Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene Adjectives, Slovene Syntax, Slovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.
3 thoughts on “How to Determine the Gender of a Noun in Slovene”
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Hey, this is really helpful but i’m a little confused when it says exceptions. With the feminine nouns, the feminine nouns that end in -TEV , -OST, -EN, -EM, and -EL are exceptions so does that still make it feminine or do they change?
Nouns with those endings are still feminine, but they have their own tables of ending. It’s a little bit more “advanced” information. You can find more details under Declension by Gender (https://annainslovenia.wordpress.com/slovene-nouns-pronouns/)