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Greek nouns that can change their gender
by TImon Rossolimos - Monday, 21 March 2016, 12:54 AM
  I've been taught that a cat in greek is η γάτα (F)...

However, I've heard it is also an exception where you can change its gender to male and call it γάτος.

Why is this and can you give me a few more examples where I can change the noun's gender?

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Greek nouns that can change their gender
by Greg Brush - Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 11:46 AM
  Just as in English, a number of Greek nouns for animate (living) things, often domesticated animals, differentiate between biological male and biological female. The noun for a male is usually grammatically masculine (ο), while the noun for a female is grammatically feminine (η). A few common examples are:
ταύρος - bull, αγελάδα - cow
γάτος - male cat, γάτα (L68) - female cat
κόκορας - rooster, κότα (L94) - hen
λαγός - male rabbit, λαγίνα - female rabbit (doe)
λέωντας - male lion, λέαινα - female lion (lioness)
λύκος - male wolf, λύκαινα - female wolf
σκύλος (L16) - male dog, σκύλα - female dog (b-i-t-c-h)
τράγος - male goat (ram), κατσίκα - female goat (doe)
χοίρος - male pig (boar), γουρούνα - female pig (sow)

For some animals a grammatical neuter (το) has evolved which represents the animal in general, irrespective of biological gender. However, even these generalized neuters often retain a separate word for specifically referring to a female. For example:
άλογο - horse (f. φοράδα, mare)
βόδι - ox, steer (f. αγελάδα)
γαϊδούρι - donkey (f. γαϊδούρα)
γεράκι - hawk, falcon (f. γερακίνα)
γίδι - goat (f. γίδα)
γουρούνι - pig (f. γουρούνα)
ελάφι - deer, elk (f. ελαφίνα, doe)
λιοντάρι (L102) - lion (f. λέαινα, lioness)
περιστέρι - dove, pigeon (f. περιστέρα)
πρόβατο - sheep (f. προβατίνα, ewe)

Greg Brush

[originally posted Monday, 21 March 2016, 08:01 PM]
Picture of TImon Rossolimos
Re: Greek nouns that can change their gender
by TImon Rossolimos - Tuesday, 22 March 2016, 06:55 AM
  Excellent Greg, great response...

I was under the impression that there were a number of exceptions for female and male nouns inanimate and living...

This platform is really helping my understanding with the Greek language.