11 Feminine Nouns formation


Nouns refer to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality.

We can form a feminine version from a masculine noun when the person we’re talking about is a woman.


Feminine nouns can be formed from masculine ones by just adding a suffix. The various cases of the formation of feminine nouns are:


In most cases we obtain the feminine form by adding –ess to the masculine form.

Masculine Feminine
Count Countess
Host Hostess
Manager Manageress


But we can find some exceptions that regularly occur:

  • Nouns with suffix –tor or –ter: change to –tr and add –ess;
Masculine Feminine
Actor Actress
Waiter Waitress
  • Nouns with suffix –e: add –ss;
Masculine Feminine
Prince Princess
  • Nouns with suffix stressed vowel + consonant: double the consonant and add –ess.
Masculine Feminine
God Goddess



  • CountThe Countess gave birth at eleven.
  • HostOur hostess is a nice woman.
  • ManagerThe Manageress checks the rooms at weekends.


Nouns with suffixes -tor or -ter

  • ActorShe is my favourite actress.
  • Waiter ⇒ These girls are waitress.

Nouns with suffix -e

  • PrinceThe princess got married and lived happily ever after.

Nouns ending with stressed vowel followed by consonant

  • GodAthena is an ancient goddess.


We form a feminine version of the word when the person we’re talking about is a woman, and the noun has a possible feminine version.

There are exceptions and irregularities that need to be studied by heart.


It is possible to obtain the feminine version of nouns from masculine forms. In most cases, we are able to do it by simply adding an -ess.

For example:
— Regular: “Lion” ⇒ “Lioness” = We add -ess.

However, there are some irregularities within feminine formation, depending on the ending of the nouns.

For example:
— With suffix -tor or -ter: “Conductor“⇒ “Conductress” = We change –tor to –tr and add -ess.
— With suffix -e: “Prince” ⇒ “Princess” = We add -ss.
— With suffix stressed vowel + consonant: “God” ⇒ “Goddess” = We double the consonant -d and add -ess.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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