Exercise type missing? (guess gender)
I have studied french and spanish on duolingo before and there is a type of exercise that I know from these trees which I find extremely useful: guess the gender of a word (by choosing the article). One would have to choose between neuter, feminine and masculine for Russian - since articles don't exist.
I was wondering if there is any specific reason why this type of exercise doesn't exist and if it is going to be added later? Or maybe I just didn't encounter it yet.
A big thank you to the russian team for creating this course! I almost made it to the 1st checkpoint yesterday and am having a blast!
Those forms of exercises only for old Duolingo trees (created by the team) and they are precisely about articles. As Russian doesn't have articles, we would not be able to have those exercises in any case. It is not as simple as just saying - let's use this or that type of exercise, we can only work with the tools Duoteam gives us.
I suppose an alternative to articles would be to use the possessive. I've seen an exercise where it will give you something like "мой," and you then have a choice of three or so nouns that might follow. Only one of them will be the right gender (or number or case) to actually make sense there and your job is to figure out which it is. Simple for you. Not so simple for us. :D
It's covered in the lesson Possessives and Gender. It's fairly simple, as it goes by the last letter of the word, as Shaun Nouland explained. The exception is that biological gender trumps that, so a word like дядя (uncle) is masculine despite the feminine ending (мой дядя).
All you really need to memorize and practice with are the ones that end in soft sign, but the tips and notes page for that lesson gives common endings:<pre>
-ость/-есть, -знь → feminine -тель, -арь, -ырь → masculine</pre>
I'll be adding some examples of soft sign gender to my memrise course here, but it will take a couple days to have audio for the whole chapter as I add new stuff from the new course http://www.memrise.com/course/378212/duolingo-russian-full-audio/