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Manuel

Gender of French Nouns – 2

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As stated in "Gender of French Nouns" French nouns have a gender.  For instance, a chair is feminine, and an armchair is masculine. The gender is shown with the article: le, la, un or une. You’ll hear/see the gender in front of each word in all of the FRENCH ETC. lists.

The gender is not always logical – why do you say un livre (a book) and une livre (half a pound)?

For most nouns, you will have to memorize the gender with every new noun you learn. However, there are a few rules you can hang onto to spot a gender.

  • nouns ending in –tion, -sion, - asion -ance -ence -té –tée –ette –ade, -ode ude -ale -ole –ie –ure
  • nouns ending in –age –asme –isme –phone –scope  -ment -acle –eau and nouns that come from a Foreign language tend to be masculine

ending -- gender -- examples

  • -acle -- m -- spectacle
  • -ade -- f -- chiffonade
  • -age -- m -- fromage
  • -aison -- f -- maison
  • -ale -- f -- rafale
  • -ance -- f -- accoutumance
  • -asme -- m -- sarcasme
  • -eau -- m -- couteau
  • -ence -- f -- prudence
  • -ette -- t -- serviette
  • -ie -- f -- minutie
  • -isme -- m -- romantisme
  • -ment -- m -- sentiment
  • -ode -- f -- ode
  • -ole -- f -- école
  • -phone -- m -- microphone
  • -scope -- m -- téléscope
  • -sion -- f -- contusion
  • -té -- f -- fierté
  • -tée -- f -- nuitée
  • -tion -- f -- information
  • -ude -- f -- habitude
  • -ure -- f -- culture
  • foreign -- m -- parking

Some nouns have both genders, and two different meanings

  • f -- aide -- help, assistance
  • m -- aide -- helper, assistant
  • f -- cote -- rating, quotation
  • m -- côte -- chop, hill, coast
  • f -- critique -- review, criticism
  • m -- critique -- reviewer
  • f -- guide -- woman guide
  • m -- guide -- guide book
  • f  -- livre – pound
  • m -- livre -- book
  • f -- manche – sleeve
  • m -- manche -- handle
  • f -- page – page
  • m -- page -- page boy
  • f -- pâtée -- wet pet food
  • m -- pâté -- pâté for humans
  • f -- pendule – clock
  • m -- pendule -- pendulum
  • f -- poêle -- frying pan
  • m -- poêle -- wood stove
  • f -- poste -- post office
  • m -- poste -- position
  • f -- tour – tower
  • m -- tour -- guided visit
  • f -- vase – mud
  • m -- vase -- vase
  • f -- voile – sail
  • m -- voile -- vail

Related: Gender of Nouns 1 with AUDIO

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