i know this is pretty far to be asking this but what is the difference for moi, moya etc. because i always get these wrong and dont know why
Possessive adjectives, like all adjectives, must match the noun in number, gender, and case. Мой, моя, моё, and мои are all first person possessive pronouns in the nominative case.
- Мой is the masculine pronoun used with masculine nouns as in "мой нож" (my knife)
- Моя is the feminine pronoun used with feminine nouns as in "моя вилка" (my fork)
- Моё is the neuter pronoun used with neuter nouns as in "моё окно" (my window)
- Мои is the plural possessive pronoun used with all plural nouns regardless of gender as in "мои кошки" (my cats)
For a complete declension table, you can look here
Thank you very much for your help. Is there any way to know if a noun is feminine or masculine without memorizing it or is there a pattern of some sort?
Look at the dictionary form of a noun.
- if it ends in а or я, it is feminine (unless it means a male, like "dad" or "uncle").
- consonant-ending nouns are masculine
- о and е are neuter endings.
- consult a dictionary for ь-ending nouns. about 65-70% are feminine but some are masculine. Among them some popular nouns are found, like день, рубль, родитель, учитель, парень, гость, путь. Month names are all masculine even if ending in a soft sign.
- there are 10 мя-ending neuter nouns. Имя(name) and время(time) are the ones a beginner should know.
Some а/я-nouns generally describing persons of a certain kind will be "common gender" (fem/masc depending on the person you are talking about)
Concerning ь-ending nouns: at later stages, suffixes will help you. Nouns built from other words using suffixes are always the same gender. For example, all these nouns are masculine:
- учить (to teach) → учитель (teacher)
- жить (to live) → житель (resident, inhabitant)
- родить (to give birth) → родитель (parent)
- писать (to write) → писатель (writer)
- видеть (to see) → + с + тель → свидетель (witness)
All of the following are feminine:
- мудрый (wise) → мудрость (wisdom)
- относительный (relative) → относительность (relativity)
- выносливый (enduring) → выносливость (endurance)
Needless to say, the farther you dive into the language, the more you see the nouns built "procedurally" from other words.
What is the difference in the pronunciation between the male singular and the plural?