male grammatical gender vs masculine grammatical gender

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member

I study German. If a singular noun is "der" in the nominative case, should I say in English that it is a:

1) male grammatical gender


3) masculine grammatical gender

or both?

There is the same issue with the singular nouns, that are "die" in the nominative case: female gender or feminine.

With the singular noun, that are "das" in the nominative case, there doesn't seem to be this issue: There is only the neuter gender term.

I am talking about the grammatical gender of nouns in linguistics, not about the the biological gender of people / animals.

Maybe there is a difference between naming of a grammatical gender of nouns, that are animals / people and between naming of a grammatical gender of nouns that represent nonliving objects..

Thank you.
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, many Indo-European languages have grammatical genders include "masculine", "feminine" and "neuter". Male and female (sex) are separate concepts. There is a complicated relationship between sex and grammatical gender.

    Some languages have grammatical genders that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. For example, I understand that in Burushaski the genders include masculine, feminine, animals, countable nouns, inanimates, uncountable nouns, abstracts and fluids. Grammatical gender - Wikipedia

    I wonder if there is any mileage in regarding "uncountable" as a grammatical gender in English? Maybe it is a number not a gender.
    I can't see him.
    I can't see her.
    I can't see it.
    I can't see any.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Note that we say it is of masculine gender (not 'a'). Or it is a masculine noun (or just: it is masculine). Speaking about grammar, the word 'gender' on its own almost always means grammatical gender. Although 'gender' is also sometimes used for 'sex' (or a related concept), this is not something you normally have to distinguish when you are specifically talking about grammar.
    < Previous | Next >