Except that "stallion" is "жеребец" and "wild stallion" is "кобылица", so it is not exactly the same. http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-russian/stallion http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-russian/horse So I wondered if "конь" could be used for geldings as well as stallions. The word for "gelding" is "мерин". http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-russian/gelding
I did find out that a "steed" is usually translated as "конь". http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-russian/steed "конь" is also used for the chess piece that we call a "knight". http://dictionary.reverso.net/russian-english/%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%8C
For the languages I have learnt (to some degree): 1) it's absolutely normal to have totally different names for animals that have been subject to husbandry (typically, farm animals); 2) different endings (in languages that apply) for pets and other animals that we are familiar with and where we can easily distinguish the sex -but sometimes, 1) applies; 3) indistinct names for the rest.
"Лошадь" is feminine. Sadly, there is no way to know that without memorizing it as "ь" words can be both male and female.
However, literal gender takes priority over what might be seemingly arbitrary word genders. So for example, dad ("папа") is masculine no matter what the ending of the word is.
An example of the above rule on one of these androgynous words is: "парень" or "young man". You can know for sure the gender of this word by knowing the definition of this word.
There are both male and female gender words that end with ь. дверь (door) and дочь (daughter) are some examples of female ones. (And there are very few male gender ones ending with а or я; family members are male - папа, дедушка, дядя, there is мужчина, and there is one other common noun кофе (coffee).
и = horses.
If you care for an in-depth explanation, I tried my best below:
You can form plurals—in the nominative case—by looking at the ending letter.
If the final letter is a masculine consonant, append "ы".
E.g., Student ("студент") becomes "студенты"
If it ends in "а" replace "а" with "ы".
E.g., Car ("машина") becomes "машины".
If it ends with either "й", "ь" or "я", replace the final letter with "и".
E.g., Museum ("музей") becomes "музеи", guest ("гость") becomes "гости", and village ("деревня") becomes "деревни".
However, watch out for "Я" endings! See below:
If it ends with "мя", it is actually a different gender (neuter) and we need to replace "мя" with "мена". Crazy, I know.
E.g., Time ("время") becomes "времена".
If the final letter is "о" replace it with "а".
E.g., Window ("окно") becomes "окна".
If the final letter is "е" replace it with "я".
E.g., Sea ("море") becomes "моря".
But, how will I know if a "е", "о" or "я" word is plural/singular if they can be both???
The answer is: time, patience, and flashcards. Welcome to Russian.
яis used for feminine nouns.
йis used for masculine nouns.
еis used for neuter nouns.
иis used for plurals.
The problem with лошад
ь is the ending letter ("ь"). All words that end with "ь" simply need to be memorized; there is no pattern for those.
The one exception is that literal gender of the noun takes priority over the linguistic gender (E.g., even though "папа" has a feminine ending, it is always masculine because it refers to a man).
ло́шадь (lóšadʹ) "horse": From Old East Slavic лошадь (lošadĭ), from лоша (loša), a Turkic borrowing; compare Tatar алаша (alaşa, “pack horse”), Chuvash лаша (laša, “horse”), Kazakh алаша (alaşa, “a kind of camel”), Crimean Tatar алаша (“horse”), etc. Despite it's similarity, it appears to not be cognate with Spanish alazán ("sorrel-colored horse", from Andalusian Arabic الاسهاب, from Arabic أَصْهَب (ʾaṣhab, “reddish, reddish-brown”).)
For words ending in "Ь" you have to memorize their gender. Most are masculine, others like "Лошадь", "мать" and "дверь" are feminine.
Edit: Also, if it's masculine then it takes a masculine declension set, and if it's feminine it takes a feminine declension set, even though it's the same base letter "Ь" in the nominative.
Does anyone know where this vocab word is introduced? I dont understand this site. New words pop up without any help as to meaning, conjugation, plural for, or telling whether they are m/f/n. Is there supposed to be some sort of lesson guide or notes? My mobile version has none of that and is very hard to use. Help!
Can't remember how it is in the mobile app, but at least on the web version you can just hover the mouse over the desired word and you get context (meaning, etc). Gender you can draw from context here, because of моя. If it were a male word, you'd see мой instead.
As a cue: generic animal names, tend to be in femenine in Russian, and then there's a specific male word. Eg:
кошка (cat) - кот (tomcat)
собака (dog/bitch) - пёс (male dog)
лошадь (horse/mare) - конь (stallion)
and so on. It gets complicated, though, because sometimes you have animal names that are specifically feminine (eg, сука means bitch); and the name for cubs seem to be masculine!
Also, as a rule of thumb, I've noticed that generic animal names (киса, собака, ...) are all feminine
I wouldn't say so. There are plenty of masculine generic names for animals (кролик, волк, медведь, олень, лев....). I think the fact that in this course more of the feminine ones are used is pretty much incidental. Also it just so happened that both "a cat" and "a dog", i.e. the most common pets, are feminine in their default form, so it might give the impression that feminine names are more common, but in general it's not the rule.
The "ь" sign is supposed to make preceding consonant softer when speaking. Like in the name coelho (spanish author) "h" makes sound "l" soft or slender (in transcription l') while in the word "loft" "l" is broad. So putting "ь" after "д" you when speaking have to make this consonant sound soft, like you would say in "deer", otherwise it would sound like in "door". But native speakers don't pronounce sonants distinguishably at the end of the words so it makes д' sound like ть (t').