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