As speakers of English, we often have difficulty in deciding which nouns are masculine or feminine in French.

The gender of some things is obvious – king, husband, prince, brother, boar etc. are obviously masculine while sister, ex-wife, cow, mother-in-law, queen, bitch etc. are feminine. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must assign a gender to a word because it’s a “man” or a “woman” thing.  Many words that you’d associate with a man (tie, shirt, saw, drill etc.) are feminine and ones you’d associate with a woman (bra, petticoat, knickers, bosum etc.) are all masculine.

The gender of a noun is all to do with its ending and the terms masculine and feminine are just convenient labels that are attached to the two groups.

Most words ending in -age, -ment are masculine.

Most words ending in -tion are feminine – and are the same as the English (situation, dilution, partition etc. there are over 600 of them).

WORDS FOR “THE”

For masculine words, use             “le”

And feminine words,                     “la”

For masculine and feminine words which start with a vowel and some “h’s”, use ” l’ ” to make it easier to say

For plural (both masculine and feminine) use, “les” (lay)

l’homme                            la femme                            les disputes

le professeur                    la classe                              les dépressions nerveuses

WORDS FOR “A”

For masculine words, use              “un”

Feminine words                               “une”

Plural words                                      “des”

un cochon                          une poêle                         des côtelettes

un vin                                  une bière                          des problèmes

Many native speakers often get confused about which nouns are masculine or feminine in French, so don’t worry if you do the same.

IF IN DOUBT, DON’T STOP SPEAKING, JUST MAKE IT MASCULINE

 

If you’re looking for an alternative French course, then why not try our full downloadable French course for just £24.99.

Which Nouns are Masculine or Feminine in French?

One thought on “Which Nouns are Masculine or Feminine in French?

  • June 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm
    Permalink

    Oh dear – major error shown early in this article when you say:

    Most words ending in -tion are feminine – and are the same as the English (situation, location, dilution, partition etc. there are over 600 of them).

    the word location is one of the EXCEPTIONS to comparative meaning. In French ‘location’ is to hire (as in à louer).

    The French equivalent for the English meaning of location is place.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *