The Masculine Nouns – Exceptions

In one of the previous blog posts I wrote about feminine exceptions, but the masculine gender also has many features. The basic rule is that the masculine nouns in Slovenian end in a consonant in singular. In dual they get the ending –a, and in plural the ending –i. However, there are also some masculine nouns that end in a vowel (this also applies to the Slovenian male names, such as Luka, Žiga, Mitja, Miha, Drago, Samo, Jaka, Jože, Marko, etc.). Some of these words are similar in other languages, too (see the second table below).

Masculine nouns which follow the basic rule

SINGULARDUALPLURALENGLISH
stolstola*stolichair
telefontelefonatelefoni telephone
dežnikdežnika dežniki umbrella
računalnikračunalnikaračunalniki computer

*the dual ending is always the same as the genitive ending in singular (only for the masculine gender)

Masculine nouns ending in a vowel

SINGULARDUALPLURALENGLISH
avtoavtaavticar
studiostudiastudiistudio
kinokinakini cinema
radioradiaradiiradio
finalefinalafinalifinals
kivi*kivija kiviji kiwi
taksi*taksija taksijitaxi
moškimoškamoškiman

*kivi and taksi prolong their endings with –j in dual and plural

Prolonging the base with -ov

In Slovenian, there are also some monosyllabic masculine nouns which we prolong with –ov and add the regular endings for dual and plural.

SINGULARDUALPLURALENGLISH
soksokova sokovi juice
gozdgozdovagozdoviforest
gradgradovagradovi castle
svetsvetova svetovi world
mostmostova mostovi bridge
cvetcvetovacvetovi blossom
vrtvrtova vrtovi garden
paspasova pasovi belt
sinsinova sinovison
nosnosovanosovi nose

cvetovi

Two endings in plural

Some masculine nouns have two options for plural; we can use a regular ending –i, or also –je. Both are correct!

SINGULARDUALPLURALENGLISH
gospodgospodagospodi = gospodjemister
študentštudenta študenti = študentje student
kmetkmetakmeti = kmetjefarmer
fantfantafanti = fantje boy
gostgostagosti = gostjeguest
medvedmedvedamedvedi = medvedjebear
sosedsoseda sosedi = sosedjeneighbor
bratbratabrati = bratjebrother

Masculine nouns ending in -r

And finally, a special feature of some masculine nouns are those that end in –r (but not all of them!). These get the ending –ja in dual and –ji in plural (so we have to add the letter j before the regular endings).

SINGULARDUALPLURALENGLISH
kuharkuharjakuharji cook
slikarslikarjaslikarji painter
koledarkoledarjakoledarjicalendar
vrtnarvrtnarja vrtnarji gardener
kiparkiparjakiparji sculptor
masermaserja maserji masseur
profesorprofesorja profesorji professor
poštarpoštarjapoštarjimailman
motormotorjamotorjiengine, motor bike
televizortelevizorjatelevizorjitelevision set
puloverpuloverjapuloverjipullover

As you can see, there are many features for the masculine gender as well. And I didn’t even mention all of them! So you don’t only have to worry about the feminine exceptions which can cause confusion to anyone who learns Slovenian. I’m sure that those learning Slovenian are already used to it! 🙂

Published on July 22, 2019