Grammar: Gender of nouns noun gender

The properties of the nouns are gender, person, number, and case.  

Gender of nouns

From A New English Grammar for Schools, by Thomas Harvey

In grammar gender is a distinction of nouns and pronouns with regard to sex.

1. There are four genders:

masculine, feminine, common, and neuter. 

a.  The masculine gender denote males; as,

father, uncle, king, governor.

b.  The feminine gender denotes females; as,

mother, aunt, queen, governess.

c.  The common gender denotes either males or females, or both; as,

parent, children, bird, cattle. 

d.  The neuter gender denotes neither males nor females; as,

stove, city, pen, ink, tree, house.

2. By a figure of speech, called personification, gender is sometimes ascribed to inanimate objects.

 The nouns denoting them are then regarded as either masculine or feminine.
Ex. — “The ship has lost her rudder.” “The meek-eyed morn appears, mother of dews.” “The sun in his glory; the moon in her wane.”

3. Names of animals are regarded as either masculine or feminine according to the qualities ascribed to them.

Ex. — “The nightingale sings her song.” “The lion meets his foe boldly.” “The fox made his escape.”
 4. Nouns used to denote both genders, though strictly applicable to males only, or females only, are usually regarded as masculine.
Ex. — “Heirs are often disappointed.” “The English are a proud people.” “The poets of America.”
5. There are three ways of distinguishing the masculine and feminine genders:

a.  By using different words:

Ex. — Bachelor, maid, spinster; bridegroom, bride; brother, sister; boy, girl; cock, hen; drake, duck; earl, countess; father, mother; gentleman, lady; hart, roe; male, female; man, woman; Mr., Mrs.; Sir, Madam; nephew, niece; son, daughter; uncle, aunt; Charles, Caroline; Augustus, Augusta.

b.  By different terminations:

Ex. — Abbot, abbess; baron, baroness; host, hostess; actor, actress; prior, prioress; benefactor, benefactress; executor, executrix; murderer, murderess; sorcerer, sorceress.

c.  By prefixes and suffixes:

Ex. — Man-servant, maid-servant; he-bear, she-bear; male descendant, female descendant; cock sparrow, hen sparrow; Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, Miss Smith; peacock, peahen.

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