Genders (nouns, adjectives, pronouns)

Gender of nouns

In Polish there are three genders (types) of nouns: masculine, feminine and neuter.

They are not natural genders but grammatical ones. This means that we decide what gender a noun is on the basis of the word ending. Underneath we can see a few examples and exceptions:

Masculinethe majority of words: ending in a consonantdom, pies, nauczyciel, długopis
words ending in the letter “a”mężczyzna, kolega, dentysta, poeta, tata, kierowca
Feminine the majority of words: ending in the letter “a”siostra, koleżanka, mama, kawa, kuchnia, lekarka, lampa
words ending in the letter “i”pani, gospodyni
words ending in a consonant sól, mysz, noc, kość, krew
Neuter words ending in “o”dziecko, okno, piwo, wino
words ending in “e”słońce, mieszkanie
words ending in “ę”imię, cielę
words ending in “um”centrum, muzeum, liceum

Adjectives, demonstratives, possessive pronouns, numerals, and verb forms in the past tense have to be in accordance with the gender of the noun/ pronoun.

If we want to substitute a noun with a personal pronoun, masculine ones would be changed into “on”, feminine ones into “ona” and neuter ones into “ono”, e.g.:

To jest dom. On jest mały.
To jest książka. Ona jest nowa.
To jest drzewo. Ono jest wysokie.

Gender of adjectives

Masculine words end in “y”
words end in “i” (if the last consonant in the word is “k” or “g”)
duży, stary
wysoki, słodki
Feminine words end in “a” (no matter what the last consonant in the word is)duża, stara, wysoka, słodka
Neuterwords end in “e”
words end in “ie” (if the last consonant in the word is “k” or “g”)
duże, stare
wysokie, słodkie

If a noun is masculine, we need to add a masculine ending to the adjective, too. The same rule applies to feminine and neuter adjectives, e.g.:

  • masculine: duży dom
  • feminine: stara szafa
  • neuter: słodkie wino

Gender of demonstratives

The English demonstrative “this” could be translated into Polish as “ten, ta, to” depending on the gender of the noun it precedes. “That” is translated as “tamten, tamta, tamto”.

GenderDemonstrative Examples
Masculine ten
ten pies
tamten samochód
Feminine ta
ta kobieta
ta praca
Neuter to
to mieszkanie
tamto muzeum

Gender of possessive pronouns

GenderPossessive pronoun Examples
Masculine mój, twój, jego, jej, nasz, wasz, ichmój kolega, twój samochód, jego dom, jej kot, nasz tata, wasz nauczyciel, ich brat
Feminine moja, twoja, jego, jej, nasza, wasza, ichmoja mama, twoja szkoła, jego siostra, jej kawa, nasza nauczycielka, wasza praca, ich książka
Neuter moje, twoje, jego, jej, nasze, wasze, ichmoje krzesło, twoje auto, jego piwo, jej imię, nasze mieszkanie, wasze radio, ich wino

The possessive pronouns “jego, jej, ich” are the same for all the genders and don’t change their forms.

Gender of verb forms in the past and future tense

This issue will be discussed in greater detail in the part concerning verbs.