French Textbook

Gender of Countries

AUDIO below


Knowing what gender a country or a place is is not easy, and not consistent. However, here is a guideline I hope you find helpful.

  • Almost all countries and states that end with an –e (except for le Mexique) are feminine.
  • Pretty much all others are masculine.
  • These 2 previous rules do NOT apply for islands. Nope!

Islands pretty much move the beat of their own drummer.

  • Cities are tricky. You hear both

“le nouveau Paris” (m), and “Paris est une belle ville” (f).


  • country --> pays[1] (m)
  1. Australia --> l’Australie (f)
  2. Belgium --> la Belgique (f)
  3. Canada --> le Canada (m)
  4. China --> la Chine (f)
  5. Costa Rica --> le Costa Rica (m)
  6. France --> la France (f)
  7. Germany --> l’Allemagne (f)
  8. Guatemala --> le Guatemala (m)
  9. Honduras --> le Honduras (m)
  10. Ireland --> l’Irlande (f)
  11. Japan --> le Japon (m)
  12. Mexico --> le Mexique (m)
  13. the Netherlands --> les Pays-Bas (mp)
  14. New Zealand --> la Nouvelle Zélande (f)
  15. South Africa --> l’Afrique du Sud (f)
  16. Spain --> l’Espagne (f)
  17. Switzerland --> la Suisse (f)
  18. Turkey --> la Turquie (f)
  19. United Kingdom --> la Grande Bretagne (f)
  20. the United States --> les États-Unis (mp)

[1] Remember that countries/states in French always have an article: France = la France



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