Tag Archives: Russian grammar

A Happy Couple

Mr & Mrs Moosey

I study Russian. In Russian, nouns have gender, which is determined by the last letter of the word. That is why Russians call a chair (стул) “he” and a staircase (лестница) “she”. This feels weird as an English speaker because it seems to be anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. I can think of no other reason to call a chair “he” and a staircase “she” than arbitrary grammar rules. Animals have gender too, but it doesn’t matter whether the animal is actually a boy or a girl. It’s still just the last letter of the word. “Pig” (свинья) happens to be feminine and “moose” (лось) is masculine. This puts silly images in my mind of anthropomorphized animals, and I thought I’d draw one for you.