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
Feminine nouns ending in –ost
* But: ‘most‘, ‘bridge‘ is of the masculine gender
Feminine nouns ending in –ast
Other feminine exceptions
|vest||‘conscience’ and ‘news’|
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.
- 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