Words that end in ь can be masculine or feminine. In the tips & notes it says that only about 65-70% of nouns ending in ь are feminine.
Always masculine when it is the suffix. Обитель is feminine, though, but it is easy to see that тель is not a suffix here.
I knew there had to be an exception, there always (almost always?) is.
Отель is still masculine, even though it's not a suffix there either. Hooray!
When the whole word is a single block, there is no structure that can help you. Кость and гость, ноль and боль, гвоздь and гроздь, путь and жуть are different genders.
Suffixes primarily become helpful at later stages where longer worlds are clearly based on something else.
With обитель and отель —these do not seem to have been a product of morphology, otherwise you would expect there to be verbs like обить (or обти) and оти (or оть) in Russian. Обить exists, though it is related to бить and is totally unrelated. Others are not real RUssian verbs
On a similar note, an English speaker "feels" that driver and bumper have the "er" that means something. On the other hand, "her" and "differ" seem different because "h" and "diff" do not mean anything.
Just to add to Shady_arc example, I think that "more" is not the best example since it does not end in exactly "er" like the others.
Paper seems to me a better example. What is "to pap"? So it can't be an English suffix.
[There seems to exist a very obscure verb "to pap" according to Wiktionary, but it is completely unrelated to paper whatsoever]
To put my two cents here:
Like in German it's probably a good idea to learn and remember every words gender. It seems Russian has a way greater conformity with gendering of words - but as you say - there are always exceptions...
"Only" 70%? That's not my idea of "only." Turn that around, and "only" 30%; yeah, I'll buy that.
I use the app on Android and there's no way to access the tips and notes section.
there is no difference in English between masculine and feminine "teacher", however in Russian you can build correct sentence based on the first word which means gender:
Мой учитель - masculine
Моя учительница - feminine
For thouse who familiar with German, gender mistake is similar to something if I would say German: Die Apfel (for those who don't know German, Apfel (apple) is masculine and Die is The used with feminine). Hope this helps
i am pretty sure that учитель is strictly male and for female there is учительница
You are correct that учитель is a word that belongs to the masculine gender. The person it refers to can, however, be female. This use is quite formal, though: in speech you'd rather use учительница when talking about one female teacher at a school (but her job is still called «учитель» or «преподаватель»).
Another native speaker (olimo) said in a different discussion that the female equivalent of "врач" (which I do not remember at all, maybe врачишка?) gives a connotation of disrespect, or a negative connotation in general, like implying a bad / non-serious doctor; and he said he would never refer to a female doctor that he respected by other term than врач.
Does this apply to учитель also, and more generally, to all or most professions?
No. (Учительница is a neutral or even positive word, though I'm sure that officially it is called учитель). There are very few officially feminine profession names in russian. Медсестра (m медбрат), швея, домохозяйка. The endings are from another story. -ница, -иса (директриса), -ка (санитарка) are neutral. -шка, -чка are positive (санитарочка) or negative (докторишка as you said).
I believe the soft sign ь does something to the л and makes it sound pretty much silent.
Another one to guess at, and I guessed wrong. How is this supposed to teach a language?
Why does this section refer to uchitel at one time as teacher and another as a reader?
It does not.
- учить → учитель (teacher)
- читать → читатель (reader)
- выключать → выключатель (turn off switch)
- водитель → водитель (driver)
- родить → родитель (parent)
The meaning depends on which verb served as a source.
What's the pronunciation of "тель" ? On Duolingo, I always hear "-тель" as "tay", is this really the sound that it is supposed to be?
I get tired of guessing the answer and usually guessing wrong. Why no notes or rules on the mobile version? Really dumb way to teach a tough lamguage, purely trial and error. Counterproductive, discouraging
It gave me the options of Ночь, Ночи, Учитель, and Учителя. How can you tell it wants "teacher?"
Well, an adjective modifier will reflect the grammatical gender/number and case of the noun it is attached to. It is similar to how you might have to pick the correct article in German (die Hand, der Wolf, das Kind, die Kinder)
So, the correct combinations would be моя́ ночь, мои́ но́чи, мой учи́тель, мои́ учителя́ (also моей но́чи and моего́ учи́теля). Note the stress, by the way: plural forms of учитель are ending-stressed (at least, if you mean people who teach).