Gender-Specific Nouns

Legends say that the famous Dracula was not a Count, but actually was a Countess! Shocking? Here we will look at gender-specific nouns like Count/Countess!

"Gender-Specific Nouns" in English Grammar

What Are Gender Specific Nouns?

There are three different genders in English. Feminine refers to a girl, masculine refers to a boy and neuter refers to one which is not categorized in any of these two groups.

Masculine Nouns

Nouns that are used to name a male person or animal are called masculine nouns.

  • man
  • brother
  • son
  • king
  • rooster
  • bull
  • lion

Feminine Nouns

Nouns that are used to name a female person or animal are called feminine nouns.

  • woman
  • girl
  • daughter
  • queen
  • hen
  • cow
  • lioness

In the English language, feminine nouns are created in some ways:

  • By creating a whole different word;




  • By adding -ess to the end of some words;



  • By omitting the last vowel of a masculine noun and then adding -ess;



  • By putting some letters or words before or after a masculine noun.



Neuter Nouns

Nouns that are used to name a person or animal that can be either a male or a female are called neuter nouns (or common gender nouns).

  • parent
  • child
  • cousin
  • doctor
  • chicken
  • dog
  • snake


If you do not know whether a noun is a masculine or feminine, you should regard it as a neuter. For example 'my doctor' can be a man or a woman. Or 'her chicken' could be either a rooster or a hen.

Remember that in English, nouns are considered neuter unless they are referring to a male or female person or animal.

Gender Specific Pronouns and Determiners

The English language has gender-specific personal pronouns and determiners in the third-person singular.

  1. The masculine pronouns: he, him, himself, his
  2. The feminine pronouns: she, hers, herself, her
  3. The neuter pronouns: it, its, itself

It is important to know that the gender of a noun affects the pronouns we use with it as well.

Masculine gender: The groom took his bride to the dance floor so he can dance with his wife.

'Groom' is a masculine noun, 'his' is a masculine possessive determiner and 'he' is a masculine pronoun.

Feminine gender: The queen loved her country, but she hated her people.

'Queen' is a feminine noun, 'her' is a feminine possessive determiner and 'she' is a feminine pronoun.

Neuter gender: My cat's sleeps in its box when it feels sleepy.

'Cat' is a neuter noun, 'its' is a neuter possessive determiner and 'it' is a neuter pronoun.

Gender Specific Nouns

Words that are always masculine or feminine are called gender specific nouns.




When a word like 'doctor' can refer to a man or a woman, we cannot use the neuter pronouns or possessive determiners. In that case, we can use a plural pronoun. This is the most acceptable way of talking about a neuter noun referring to a person.

Ask your doctor if they want to try a different treatment.


Nouns are divided into three groups based on their genders:

masculine feminine neuter
nouns that are used to name a male nouns that are used to name a female nouns that can be either a male or a female
man, king, bull, lion queen, daughter hen, cow, cousin, doctor chicken, dog


Loading recaptcha

You might also like

Noun Modifiers

As you might guess, noun modifiers can modify nouns. What if there is a noun phrase after noun modifiers? If these questions are stuck in your mind, read more!

Verbal Nouns

Sometimes we can change a verb and make it into a noun. One of the most common ways of doing this is adding the suffix -ing. Let's see what verbal nouns are!

Gerund Phrases

Grund phrases are phrases that have 'gerunds,' 'its object,' and any 'modifiers' or 'complements.' In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Plural-Only Nouns

Here, we will discuss some nouns in the English language that are always used as a plural noun, i.e. they don't have a singular form. Let's get to it!

Noun Clauses

Mostly, the English learners are ok with the idea of nouns, but when it comes to noun clauses, they may not be as confident as they are with nouns. Read more.

Nominal Adjectives

Nominal adjectives are adjectives that function as a noun in a sentence. They may take different roles which we will uncover in this lesson.

Download LanGeek app for free