French Nouns And Gender For Beginners

Written byAmélie Pinon

Unlike in English, you have to be concerned about the gender of the nouns you use in your sentences. The gender of the noun determines the adjective or pronoun you use with it, and many nouns have two different forms, depending on whether you are speaking of the male or female. In addition, a word spelled or sounded the same way may have a different meaning, depending on whether it is masculine or feminine. So it is important to pay attention to the article (la, le, un, une)

un aide male assistant

une aide, female assistant

le bal dance

la balle ball

la balle ball

la barre bar (rod)

le barbe barb

la barbe beard

le cache card/mask

la cache cache, hiding place

le capital capital, money

la capitale capital city, capital letter

le casse break-in, robbery

la casse breaking, damage, breakages

le cave (slang) idiot, sucker

la cave basement, cellar

le champagne champagne

la Champagne Champagne region

la Champagne Champagne region

la chaine chain, channel, stereo

la chaine chain, channel, stereo

la chevre goat

le chose thingie, contraption

la chose thing

le col collar, neck

la colle glue

le coq rooster

la coque hull, fuselage

le cours class, course

la cour courtyard

le crepe crepe material

la crepe thin pancake

le critique male critic

la critique criticism, review, female critic

le faune faun

la faune fauna

le fil thread, yarn, string

la file line, queue

le gene gene

la gene trouble, bother

le lac lake

la laque lacquer, shellac

le legume vegetable

la legume (slang) la grosse legume - big shot

le lieu place

la lieue league

la lieue league

la livre pound (money & weight)

le mal evil

la malle trunk

le manoeuvre laborer

la manoeuvre maneuver, operation

le memoire memo, report

la memoire memory

le merci thanks

la merci mercy

la merci mercy

la morale moral (of story), morals

le mort dead body

la mort death

le moule mold

la moule mussel

la moule mussel

la mure blackberry

la mure blackberry

la physique physics

la physique physics

la reine queen

le rose pink (color)

la rose rose (flower)

le roux red, red-head

la roux (soup base)

le sel salt

la selle saddle

la selle saddle

la soie silk

le sol ground, floor, soil

la sole sole (fish)

le tour, turn,

la tour tower

le vague vagueness

la vague wave

le vapeur steamer

la vapeur steam, haze,

la vapeur steam, haze,

la voile sail

  Most nouns form their plural by adding "s", just as in English. There are a number of nouns that form their plural differently:



Le journal newspaper


Un couteau

des couteaux

Le reseau

les reseaux

What Did We Learn?

Paying close attention to the article, say the following:

  1. We are going to a dance/there is a grand ball at the townhall (mairie).
  2. Let's go the the bar tonight/ the dancer stands at the barre.
  3. There is a large oak tree in front of that house/I like to watch public T.V.
  4. The collar of his shirt is white/I need glue to fix (reparer) the plate.
  5. This course is easy/that courtyard is beautiful.
  6. I love to eat mussels/he broke (casser) the mold.
  7. Santa and his reindeers/the Queen of England
  8. Put the sole on the ground.
  9. It is your turn to enter the tower.
  10. That old hat has a veil/that old boat has a sail.
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French Nouns And Gender For Beginners
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