Help for students of English
There are two genders properly so called: Masculine and Feminine. The distinction of male and female in nature is called sex. The distinction between Masculine and Feminine in words is called Gender. Note. The word Gender comes from the Latin word genus, generis, a sort or kind. The English language, unlike most others, applies the distinction of Masculine and Feminine only to the names of persons and animals: man, woman; boy, girl; lion, lioness. Nouns which denote things without animal life are said to be Neuter or of Neuter Gender, from the Latin word neuter, neither (i.e, neither masculine nor feminine) : iron, stone, river. The only exception to this rule is when inanimate things are represented as persons. Note. Collective Nouns are Neuter though denoting collections of male or female objects: army, committee, sisterhood. When the same name is used for male and female, it is said to be Common or of Common Gender : bird, fish, parent, sovereign, friend. There are three ways of indicating difference of Gender in Nouns:- 1. By inflexion.*
2. By using a word indicative of sex.
3. By distinct words.
* INFLEXION [Latin, inflecto, flexi, flexum, to bend or change] means some addition to, or change in, a word to denote a modification of meaning. The inflexional changes of words are explained in connexion with their classification
THE GENDER DISTINGUISHED BY INFLEXION.
1. The feminine is usually distinguished from the masculine by the ending -ess : |Masculine. ...