Determining the gender of nouns

Frequently you will want to know the gender of a noun. You can always find out from a glossary, of course, but there are other ways to tell. This exercise will give you some pointers.

To begin with, if a singular noun is accompanied by a demonstrative pronoun, the gender of the pronoun is often unambiguous. For each of the following singular noun phrases, identify the gender of the pronoun and noun. Consult the paradigms in tables 5.4 and 5.5 before you look up the noun in the glossary.

þǣre tīde þone naman sēo ċearu þisre nihte
þās tīðe þā lāfe þis hrȳþer þisne lām
þæt tōl se weġ þēos byrġen þes morgen
hēafdu lǣswa randas dǣda
þing tungol ġiefa scipu
dagas secgas glēda sceattas
ġeēacnung ġefērscipe wedlāc sārnes
frēodōm ċildhād strengð samnung
rēaflāc hǣlð dryhtscipe hāliġdōm
nearones biscophād    
Indicate the gender of each noun, based on the form of the pronoun that modifies it.
  • masculine
  • neuter
  • feminine
The nominative or accusative plural of a noun can often reveal its gender. For the following tasks, feel free to consult the paradigm tables in Introduction to Old English Chapter 5, but avoid looking up words in the glossary.
Indicate the gender of each noun, based on its plural form.
  • masculine
  • neuter
  • feminine
Should have an endmsg for the last task.
Finally, nouns with the same suffix generally have the same gender. Not all of the nouns in this task are in the glossary, but you will find enough of them to be able to tell the gender of the rest.
Indicate the gender of each noun, based on its suffix.
  • masculine
  • neuter
  • feminine
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