The Bulgarian noun


All Bulgarian nouns, even those referring to inanimate objects, have gender. So, in Bulgarian the computer is masculine, the dress is feminine, and the bike is neutral. Sometimes you can have a noun that even has two gender forms, but this is rare (e.g. you can say химикал (masculine) and химикалка (feminine)).


Masculine nouns usually end in a consonant: компютър (computer), чин (desk), диван (sofa).

However, there are some nouns, usually denoting people (male) that end in vowels or semi-vowels:

а: баща (father)
я: съдия (judge), бояджия (painter – one who paints houses)
о: татко (daddy), дядо (grandpa), чичо (uncle)
е: аташе (attaché)
the names of the months: януари, февруари,март, април, май, юни, юли, август, септември, октомври, ноември, декември


Feminine nouns usually end in the vowel a or the semi-vowel я: жена (woman), вода (water), градина (garden), земя (land), стая (room), идея (idea).

Some feminine nouns, however, end in a consonant (mainly abstract ones): вечер (evening), пролет (spring), младост (youth).


Neutral nouns usually end in –o, –e, or (mainly foreign nouns) –и, –у, –ю: село (village), писмо (letter), дете (child), море (sea), училище (school), такси (taxi), бижу (jewel), меню (menu).

Changing gender:

Masculine nouns denoting people and animals form their feminine equivalents using the endings – ка, – ица, – а, –иня:

teacher (male and female): учител учителка
king – queen: цар царица
lion – lioness: лъв лъвица
fatty (male and female): дебелан дебелана
god – goddess: бог богиня


The nouns in Bulgarian can be singular and plural.

Masculine nouns:

Masculine nouns form their plurals using the following endings:

Мost multi-syllable and some single syllable nouns use the ending –и:
народ народи (people-peoples)
баща бащи (father – fathers)
съдия съдии (judge – judges)
герой герои (hero – heroes)
зъб зъби (tooth – teeth)
лъч лъчи (ray – rays)
гост гости (guest – guests)

Changes may occur within the nouns when they change into the plural:
езикезици (language, tongue – languages, tongues)
кожухкожуси (coat – coats)
чужденецчужденци (foreigner – foreigners)
театъртеатри (theatre – theatres)
беглецбегълци (fugitive – fugitives)
българинбългари (Bulgarian – Bulgarians)
боецбойци (fighter – fighters)

Most short masculine nouns (single-syllable ones) and a few multi-syllable masculine nouns use the ending – ове:
градградове (town – towns)
столстолове (chair – chairs)
блокблокове (building – buildings)
вятърветрове (wind – winds)

Changes may occur within the nouns when they change into the plural:
брягбрегове (coast – coasts)
връхвърхове (peak – peaks)
зетзетьове (son-in-law – sons-in-law)
вятърветрове (wind – winds)
огъногньове (fire – fires)

Most nouns ending in -й form their plurals using the ending – еве:
бройброеве (issue – issues of a magazine)

A few nouns form their plurals using the ending –e:
мъжмъже (man – men)
конконе (horse – horses)
царцаре (king – kings)
кралкрале (king – kings)

A few nouns form their plurals using the ending –a:
краккрака (foot – feet)
рогрога (horn – horns)
листлиста (leaf – leaves)
господингоспода (gentleman – gentlemen)

A single noun forms its plural using the ending – я:
брат братя (brother – brothers)

A few nouns form their plurals using the ending –ища:
път пътища (road – roads)
край краища (edge – edges)
сън сънища (dream – dreams)

A few nouns form their plurals using the ending –овци:
дядо дядовци (grandfather – grandfathers)
чичо чичовци (uncle – uncles)
мързеланмързелановци (a lazy person)

The masculine nouns that denote inanimate objects and end in a consonant have a second plural form, reserved for situations when you use them together with a numeral or after the words колко (how many) and няколко (several). It is formed by adding the endings -a and -я to the nouns:
три града – three towns
пет броя – five issues
четири компютъра – four computers
шест литра – six litres
седем метра – seven metres

but if the masculine nouns denote people, you use the regular plural form:
двама учители – two teachers
трима студенти – three students
четирима съседи – four neighbours

Feminine nouns:

Feminine nouns form their plurals adding the ending – и: женажени (woman – women)
земяземи (land – lands)
вечер вечери (evening – evenings)

Some sound changes may occur:
песен песни (song – songs)
мисъл мисли (thought – thoughts)

овца овце (a sheep – sheep)
свинясвине (swine – swines)

Neutral nouns:

Neutral nouns form their plurals adding the following endings:

If they end in –o, –це, –ще, they add –a:
село села (village – villages)
училище училища (school – schools)

Some sound changes may occur:
тяло тела (body – bodies)
дете деца (child – children)

If they end in –ие, they substitute the final e with я: изречение изречения (sentence – sentences)
събитие събития (event – events)

лозе лозя (vineyard – vineyards)
цвете цветя (flower – flowers)

If they end in –e, –че, –ле, or if they are foreign words ending in – и, –у, –ю, they add –тa:
море морета (sea – seas)
братчебратчета (brother – brothers – diminutive)
носле нослета (nose – noses – diminutive)
такси таксита (taxi – taxis)
бижу бижута (jewel – jewels)
меню менюта (menu – menus)

A few nouns ending in – ме, add –на:
знаме знамена (flag – flags)
време времена (time – times)
име имена (name – names)

A few nouns add –са:
чудочудеса (miracle – miracles)
небе небеса (sky – skies)

A few nouns ending in – o, add –и:
животно животни (animal – animals)
насекомо насекоми (insect – insects)
око очи (eye – eyes)
ухо уши (ear – ears)

There are some acceptable variations of the plural form:
кълбо кълба, кълбета (ball – balls)
коляно колене, колена (knee – knees)
рамо рамене, рамена (shouder – shoulders)
крило крила, криле (wing – wings) (but if you refer to chicken wings as a food – пилешки крилца)
дърво дървета, дърва (with a difference in meaning though – дървета is used for trees, while дърва is used for wood)

Some nouns have only a singular form:
любов (love)
младост (youth)

Some nouns have only plural forms:
очила (glasses)
въглища (coal)

A few can be used both in the singular and the plural with no change of meaning:
ножица, ножици (scissors)
панталон, панталони (trousers)

The definite article

The definite article is used in pretty much the same way as it is in English, but it is added to the noun as an ending and is not a separate word.

Masculine nouns

Тhere are two forms of the article for the masculine nouns (a long and a short form, respectively -ат, – ят (long) and -а, – я (short) and their usage depends on their function in the sentence – you use the long form when the noun functions as the subject in the sentence and you use the short form when the noun doesn’t function as the subject in the sentence .

Англичанинът е тук. – The Englishman is here.
Учителят е строг. – The teacher is strict.
Дай книгата на англичанина. Give the book to the Englishman.
Дай речника на учителя. – Give the dictionary to the teacher.

These forms, however, are only used in written texts, and the rule is not valid when speaking.

град градът/града (a town – the town)
компютър компютърът/компютъра (a computer – the computer)

Note that the Bulgarian language does not have an indefinite article – when you talk about one person or object , this is only signified by using the singular form of the noun:
Имам компютър. – I have a computer.

Use the form -ят, -я after the following groups of nouns:

ending in –тел:
преподавател преподавателят, преподавателя (lecturer – the lecturer)
усилвател усилвателят, усилвателя (amplifier – the amplifier)

ending in –ар:
лекар лекарят, лекаря (doctor – the doctor)

ending in –й:
край краят, края (edge – the edge)

some other nouns:
ден денят, деня (day – the day)
зет зетят, зетя (son-in-law – the son-in-law)
кон конят, коня (horse – the horse)
кралкралят, краля (king – the king)
цар царят, царя (king – the king)
сън сънят, съня (dream – the dream)
път пътят, пътя (road – the road)
огън огънят, огъня (fire – the fire)
нокът нокътят, нокътя (nail – the nail)
лакът лакътят, лакътя (elbow – the elbow)

Irregular forms:
баща бащата (father – the father)
съдия съдията (judge – the judge)
чичо чичото (uncle – the uncle)

Feminine nouns

The feminine nouns add the definite article –та:
жена жената (woman – the woman)
стая стаята (room – the room)
вечер вечерта (evening – the evening)
младост младостта (youth – the youth)

Neutral nouns

The neutral nouns add the definite article –тo:
село селото (village – the village)
такси таксито (taxi – the taxi)
бижу бижуто (jewel – the jewel)
меню менюто (menu – the menu)

Plural nouns

The plural nouns ending in -и or -e add the definite article -тe:
градове градовете (towns – the towns)
народи народите (peoples – the peoples)
бащи бащите (fathers – the fathers)
женижените (women – the women)
вечери вечерите (evenings – the evenings)
ръцеръцете (hands – the hands)
животни животните (animals – the animals)
насекоми насекомите (insects – the insects)
уши ушите (ears – the ears)
очи очите (eyes – the eyes)

The plural nouns ending in –a or –я add the definite article –та:
крака краката (legs – the legs, feet – the feet)
господа господата (gentlemen – the gentlemen)
братябратята (brothers – the brothers)
краища краищата (edges – the edges)
пътищапътищата (roads – the roads)
книжа книжата (papers – the papers)
селаселата (villages – the villages)
моретаморетата (seas – the seas)
цветя цветята (flowers – the flowers)

Diminutive forms

Almost all Bulgarian nouns can form diminutive forms, e.g:
нос носле (nose)
гръб гръбче (back)
книгакнижка (book)
топка топчица (ball)
село селце (village – hamlet)

Vocative forms

The vocative forms are used when directly addressing someone:
Иван – Иване
господин – господине
мъж – мъжо
учител – учителю
Петър – Петре
учителка – учителко
жена – жено
сестра – сестро
леля – лельо
хазайка – хазайке
Иванка – Иванке

Some names are no longer used in the vocative form because it is considered impolite:
Елено (use Елена)
Маргарито (use Маргарита)
Марийо (use Мария)