Albanian Names: How to Identify Masculine and Feminine Endings

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In Albanian grammar, like in many other languages, there is a distinction between masculine and feminine names. The gender of names can mainly be distinguished from the endings they take in the singular form of the definite article.

Names of masculine gender take the endings -i or -u:

  • gur(stone) -i,
  • vëlla (brother) -i,
  • djal (son) -i,
  • lum (river) -i,
  • mal (mountain) - i,
  • krah (arm) -u,
  • zog( bird) -u

Names of feminine gender take the endings -a or -ja:

  • buk (bread) - a
  • pushk (gun) - a
  • drejtësi (justice) - a
  • faq (page) - ja
  • ujit (watering (the flowers)) - ja

Neutral names take the ending -t (ë) or -it:

  • të ftohtë (cold) - it
  • të nxehtë (warm) -t
  • të ecur (walking) -it
  • të folur (spoken) -it
  • të ri (new) -të

Note: Above we talked about general names, but even proper names of people have grammatical gender determined by the gender of the person concerned. For example:

  • Lekë - Leka,
  • Dedë - Deda,
  • Kolë - Kola,
  • Petro - Petroja, are masculine names which follow the pattern of feminine names. (Leka i Madh - Leka the Great)

Similarly, female names such as: Nermin and Antigonë, are feminine names which follow the pattern of masculine names. (Nermin është një studente e mirë - Nermin is a good student)

Also, names such as:

  • babë - baba (father),
  • axhë - axha (uncle from father’s side) ,
  • dajë - daja (uncle from mother’s side),
  • gegë - gega (albanian dialect),
  • toskë - toska (albanian dialect) etc, are all male nouns.

Even though they follow the pattern of feminine names they belong to the masculine gender. (Axha im - My uncle)

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