I don't know how to explain "ый" by typing it, but the neuter and feminine genders are pronounced as they are spelled. "до́брое" = "DO-brah-yeh" and "до́брая" = "DO-brah-yah". There's also "Доброй", which is used when saying "goodnight" to someone, before going to bed. "Доброй ночи" "DO-bry nochi".
Добрая and доброе are pronounced the same in the standard accent (or, at least, very, very close).
A voice talent doing station announcements may hypercorrect a tiny bit to make -ое different from -ая but this effect is rather subtle (it does not sound natural when the difference is large). I think, I heard an announcer making an unstressed -е of the ending more distinct, which lets the listener know that the station is, say, Солнечное, not Солнечная.
- on the other hand, it is wise to consult the route map on the wall anyway... And I am sure stations that only differ in gender are nearly non-existent. I see no reason why would one have them on the same line.
а/я are typical feminine endings (though there are a few masculine and common gender nouns, too)
о/е are common for neuter nouns. Neuter nouns also include ten words that end in -мя. Nouns of foreign origin that end in о/е are indeclinable (I am talking about direct loanwords).
consonant endings are typical for masculine nouns. Consonants include Й.
A word ending in a consonant followed by a soft sign can be either feminine or masculine. About two thirds are feminine but there are many masculine, too, even among the common words (e.g., день, огонь, конь, гусь, контроль, словарь, учитель, родитель)
A word ending in anything else is indeclinable. The gender of an indeclinable noun can be neuter (e.g. метро, кафе), it can be determined by the gender of a person (Дженни is a girl), by the umbrella term for such objects (Огайо is a штат, so it's masculine) or simply by tradition (портфолио can be neuter—or masculine for no sane reason). Looking it up in the dictionaty is advised, especially if the word is popular.
An unstressed "о" is pronounced as "а", or maybe more like the English "uh" (as in "up") We do the same thing in English. If the syllable is unstressed, the vowel becomes diminished and sounds more like "uh".
The word "хорошо" is a good example. It's pronounced more like "харашо" because the last syllable is accented/stressed.
Спасибо, so first i have to listen to the word and then deduce the spelling. In my native language, you write what you say and say what you write. May be thats why it is getting hard for me to grasp since i am still a noob in russian. On other note, what is the sound and usage of ь?
ь Is a soft mark. If you see it, it means the preceeding consonant will be made soft. For example, there is a word "жаль", which means "it's a pity/shame". The ь at the end of the word indicates that the preceeding л will be soft.
Alternatively, it can be used to create a kind of separation. For example, in the name "Татьяна". The т before the soft mark would be soft either way, since it is followed by a soft vowel (я), but the soft mark is there to separate the the т from the я. It's pretty difficult to explain through text. If I could record a message here, it would be very easy to hear how the ь affects the pronunciation of that name.
It will all become easier over time. :)