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Thread: Gender Confusion

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    Gender Confusion

    This might be answered somewhere already, but I couldn't find it via search...

    I know for some animals there are pairs of words to show a male and female. But what about words like: ёжик (or is it just ёж?). If I was talking about a female hedgehog, even though the noun is masculine, does anything happen to the declension of the noun to show that it's a female?
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    Re: Gender Confusion

    ёж (masc.) - ежиха (fem.)

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    Re: Gender Confusion

    So... are there always pairs of words to show male and female, and it's just a matter of learning them?
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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreams
    So... are there always pairs of words to show male and female, and it's just a matter of learning them?
    Not always.

    It's a complicated matter often a source of wordplay and confusion.

    Sometimes there are couples of sex-specific words like "мужчина" - "женщина" ("man" - "woman") "кобель" - "сука" ("he-dog" - "bitch"), "жеребец" - "кобыла" ("stallion" - "mare") but only for a few animals.

    Normally there is one word which denotes the animal no matter of sex and grammatical gender. For example "человек" (mas.) usually means human being by default and applicable to both a man and a woman. "Лошадь" (fem.) means a horse by default. "Ёж" (mas.) means a hedgehog by default.

    Then there are synonyms, each of them has more or less random grammatical gender which sometimes more or less relate to the sex, sometimes not. "Конь" (mas., "steed") usually means he-horse but it is not so necessary. "Кляча" (fem., "jade"), "одр" (mas., "jade") has no relation to sex... err... mostly. etc.

    Then there are words specifically opposing the "default animal" word to represent specifical sex wth grammatical gender opposite to "default": "утка" (fem., any duck or she-duck) - "селезень" (mas., only he-duck); ёж - ежиха etc. Often sex- specific word in such pair has vernacular flavour.

    When one speaks about an individual animal and want to emphasize its sex one can use words "самец" and "самка" ("stag" and "doe") - "самка ежа"="she-hedgehog" - but this way is rather formal. In usual speaking people try to avoid it.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    "Лошадь" (fem.) means a horse by default.

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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by doninphxaz
    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    "Лошадь" (fem.) means a horse by default.
    Corrected. Sometimes typos are more dangerous than usual.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Спасибо.
    That helps me. :)
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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Ok so what does ёжик actually mean? If ёж means hedgehog, then what is ёжик and when can I use it?

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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Man
    Ok so what does ёжик actually mean? If ёж means hedgehog, then what is ёжик and when can I use it?
    "ёжик" means literally "a small hedgehog". You can use it when talking to children or you might just find yourself talking to that hedgehog and want him to like you back.

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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Re: Gender Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    .."ёжик" means literally "a small hedgehog"..
    Or "a cute hedgehog".
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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