Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Feminine Nouns Ending in a Consonant

Slovenian has three grammatical genders: feminine, masculine and neuter. The feminine nouns usually end with –a, the masculine with a consonant and the neuter ones with –o or –e. However, there is a feature, where feminine nouns can also end with a consonant – the same as masculine nouns. That includes all nouns that end with –ost, –ev and –ast in singular, and some other nouns which are complete exceptions.

Feminine nouns that follow the basic rule and end with –a in singular, are declined in accordance with the first feminine declension – that means they have an ending –e in the genitive (for example: slika – slike). But the feminine exceptions which end with a consonant in singular, are declined according to the second feminine declension – they get an ending –i in the 2nd case, the genitive (for example: noč – noči).

Also, the feminine exceptions have the same ending in dual and plural (excluding nouns that end with –ev), which is –i: noč – noči (dual) – noči (plural). The ordinary feminine nouns have an ending –i in dual and –e in plural: slika – sliki (dual) – slike (plural).

Below, the feminine exceptions are arranged in 4 groups:

Feminine nouns ending in –ev

Slovenian English
breskev peach
cerkev church
odločitev decision
podkev horseshoe
trgatev grape harvest

Feminine nouns ending in –ost

Slovenian English
kost bone
mladost youth
modrost wisdom
norost craziness, madness
starost age

* But: ‘most‘, ‘bridge‘ is of the masculine gender

Feminine nouns ending in –ast

Slovenian English
last property, possession
past trap
pošast monster
rast growth
strast passion

Other feminine exceptions

Slovenian English
bolezen disease
dlan palm (hand)
jed dish
jesen autumn
kad bathtub
klet basement
klop bench
kopel bath
korist benefit, advantage
laž lie
ljubezen love
luč light
miš mouse
misel thought
moč power, strength
nit thread, strand
noč night
obrt craft, trade
obrv eyebrow
pamet sense, brains
peč furnace
perut wing (birds)
pesem song
pest fist
pomlad spring
pomoč help
pot path
reč thing, matter
skrb worry, care
sled trace
smet dirt
smrt death
snov matter, material
sol salt
stran page, side
stvar thing
vas village
vest ‘conscience’ and ‘news’
vrv rope
zavest consciousness
zver beast
zvrst genre
žival animal

A tip on how to help you memorise the feminine exceptions is as follows: if you learn these words with an adjective or pronoun before the words, it will be easier to recognise the correct gender of nouns, since the adjectives and pronouns in singular always end with –a for the feminine gender, with a consonant for the masculine gender and with –o (before the letters c, j, č, š and ž also with –e) for the neuter gender.

Some examples:

  • lepa vas – beautiful village
  • tista luč – that light
  • moja odločitev – my decision
  • nora misel – crazy thought
  • okusna jed – tasty dish
  • morska sol – sea salt
  • spletna stran – website
  • poletna noč – summer night
  • peneča kopel – bubble bath