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Noun Gender in Dictionary
by Guest User - Friday, 21 May 2010, 04:06 AM

I've just started teaching myself Greek and bought a English-to-Greek dictionary (and vice versa). I noticed that when I look up an English word, it will give me the Greek word but not the gender.

I haven't learned too much yet, but can you usually infer the gender by simply looking at the word, or are there many cases where it's ambiguous? I guess I am surprised the dictionary doesn't even list the gender.

Thank you,

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Re: Noun Gender in Dictionary
by Brenda P - Friday, 21 May 2010, 07:42 AM
  My dictionary doesn't include the gender on the English side either, so I have to look up the translated word on the Greek side, where the article is included, and that shows the gender.  It's a bit of a hassle, but it's worth it. Maybe your dictionary is like that, too. 
Picture of Greg Brush
Re: Noun Gender in Dictionary
by Greg Brush - Friday, 21 May 2010, 11:17 AM
  Normally the grammatical gender of Greek nouns will be apparent from the ending of the word. Nouns ending in -o, -ι, or -μα are neuter, those ending in -α or -η are feminine, while those ending in -ας or -ης, as well as the overwhelming majority of those ending in -ος, are masculine. Exceptions to this, such as neuters γάλα (milk) and κρέας (meat), usually reflect a relic of the ancient language.

By the way, it's not unusual at all for the Greek portion of dictionaries to give virtually no grammatical information about the words which they list.

Greg Brush
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Re: Noun Gender in Dictionary
by Guest User - Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 12:14 AM
  Thanks for the responses! I appreciate the info