Besides Spanish where you have comerla (feminine, eat her) or comerlo (masculine, eat him), but only works for certain verb conjugations.

Any other language where the gender of objects/subjects is marked in the verb conjugation?

  • 3
    'Him' and 'her' are not subjects, they are objects.
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 1, 2016 at 2:36
  • What do you mean when you say this only works for certain verb conjugations? I thought the "la" and "lo" suffixes could be used on any transitive verb. Apr 1, 2016 at 4:14
  • @sumelic yes and no. As enclitics, they only work go with the infinitive, gerund, affirmative commands (six form), and the participle (rarely). In some dialects, they can additionally go on any personal verb that take direct (or indirect, for laísta/loísta dialects) objects. As proclitics, they can go in front of any personal verb; though written as two words, they really ought to be considered a single word. Old Spanish had mesoclitics like modern Portuguese too Apr 1, 2016 at 5:00
  • 1
    You might want to clarify whether you mean "masculine, feminine, neuter" i.e. sex-gender, or any kind including "animate, inanimate", "human, insect, edible" and arbitrary noun class.
    – user6726
    Apr 1, 2016 at 14:59

3 Answers 3


In the Northeast Caucasian languages, nouns are divided into classes, that category is analogous to the Indo-European and Semitic genders.

Let's take Archi, a Northeast Caucasian language. It has 4 noun classes: I. male, II. female, III. inanimate objects and adult animals, IV. abstract nouns and baby animals. Since Archi is an ergative language, the very idea of subject/object is different in it, all the verbs in Archi are marked for class – for the class of the "subject" with the intransitive verbs and for the class of the "direct object" with the transitive verbs. The same happens in all the languages of this language family.

I. vassar - [a man] shivers

II. dassar - [a woman] shivers

III. bassar - [a cow] shivers

IV. assar - [a calf] shivers

In the Bantu languages, like Swahili, there are also noun classes, but they are more numerous than in Archi (14 of them in Swahili), and the Swahili verbs are marked for the class of the subject, too.

  • 1
    Are all of them actually marked? I was looking into Archi as a possible example, but then I found this document that says gender agreement is shown by less than 40% of verbs: academia.edu/855203/Morphological_complexity_of_Archi_verbs I'm not sure what that means exactly, though. Apr 1, 2016 at 12:56
  • 1
    @sumelic - Well, there are many tenses in Archi, and the analog of the English Present Continuous is formed with the auxiliary verb 'to be' which is always marked for class. In the rest of the Northeast Caucasian languages the situation is the same, only the number of classes can vary, in Avar there are 3 classes and a wide system of analytical verb forms.
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 1, 2016 at 13:28
  • In plenty of Papuan languages verbs have inflections agreeing with the person/number/gender of subject, many do so also for object and some also for indirect objects. Apr 1, 2016 at 23:13

In the Semitic languages I know about, gender is marked on subject and object verbal markers in the 2nd and 3rd person singular (when/if there is an object marker). Berber and various Chadic languages such as Somali do likewise, so it might be generally true of Afroasiatic. Khoekhoe also somewhat marks subject gender on the verb, though this is connected to movement.

  • In Berber languages, gender is declined for all the persons (singular/plural), but not in the 1st person (singular/plural). Moreover, the indirect object pronoun does not mark the gender in the 3rd singular person.
    – amegnunsen
    Sep 23, 2018 at 10:24
  • Yeah, AFAIK nobody makes a 1st person gender distinction.
    – user6726
    Sep 23, 2018 at 14:33
  • In Kabyle (a Berber language) there is : nukenti = we (fem.).
    – amegnunsen
    Sep 23, 2018 at 17:33
  • @user in Modern Hebrew, the present tense (which Biblical Hebrew did not have) conjugates only for gender and number, with the person expressed by explicitly saying the subject, so you can, e.g. say "אני אוכל" (I eat-as-a-guy) or "אני אוכלת" (I eat-as-a-girl), but the second and third person singular present tense uses these same conjugations, just with different subjects. The past and future tenses, however, are unmarked with respect to gender in the first person. Dec 10, 2018 at 2:10

In comerlo and comerla, the gender in not part of the conjugation! These are enclitic forms, where the object pronouns (lo, la,...) are written attached to the verb, but you can actually detach them and write it using a different word order: "Voy a verla" = "La voy a ver". This can, in principle, be done with all verbs, provided the pronouns are compatible, but only with infinitives and present participles. Semitic languages perfect example for what you're after.

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