A noun that denotes a male is said to be of the masculine gender for example:
Nouns like boy, man, brother, father etc. is of the masculine gender.
A noun that denotes a female is said to be of the feminine gender for example:
Nouns like girl, woman, sister, mother etc. is of the feminine gender.
A noun that denotes both a female and a male is said to be of the common gender for example:
Nouns like baby, child, parent, teacher, pupil etc. is of the common gender.
A noun that denotes a non living thing is said to be of the neuter gender (the word neuter means neither, that is neither male nor female) for example:
Nouns like book, pen, chair, car, wood, gold etc. is of the neuter gender.
Formation of the feminine nouns
There are three ways of forming the feminine of nouns:
Rule (1) By adding – ess to the masculine, for example: Author – Authoress
Sometimes the spelling of the words may have to be altered slightly before adding the- ess, for example: Actor- Actress
Rule (2) By using an entirely different word, for example: Boy- Girl
Rule (3) Sometimes a last word or the end word which tells about the gender of any word is changed only, for example: Grandfather – Grandmother
Example of Rule (1)
Governor – Governess
Hunter – Huntress
Waiter – Waitress
Host – Hostess
Poet – Poetess
Example of Rule (2)
Lord – lady
Stag – Hind
Horse – Mare
Example of Rule (3)
Peacock – Peahen
Stepson – Stepdaughter
He-Bear – She Bear
Landlord – Landlady
Man-servant – Maid- servant