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How to Determine French Noun Genders

If you speak English, you may be unfamiliar with the way genders are used in the French language. But this is an important part of French, because the gender affects the way the noun is treated.

Please keep in mind that the meaning of the noun has absolutely NOTHING to do with the gender, so don't get confused! You can usually (but not always) tell the gender of a noun by looking at it's ending.

Here are some common Masculine Noun endings:

-aire -asme -e -eau -et -ien -isme -in -nt -oir

Here are some common Feminine Noun Endings:

-ade -aison -ance -ande -ence -ise -son -te -tie -ture -ude

The French language also has masculine and feminine articles, not just nouns. For example, if you say 'le livre', you are saying 'the book.' You use 'le' because the word is masculine. However, if you say 'la maison' you are saying 'the house.' 'Le' and 'la' have the same meanings, but they are used depending on the context. (The Gender) It is the same case for 'un livre' (a book) and 'une maison' (a house). If the noun is plural, like 'les maisons' (the houses), all you have to do is use 'les' for 'the' and add an s to the end of the word. This applies with both genders.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Thank you for reading this article! I hope you will benefit from it in the future.

For further information, please see the source of this discussion: http://grammarist.com/french/french-noun-gender/

This website has most if not all of the information in this article. Thank you for reading!

December 26, 2017



To be added to "feminine endings": -tion and -ette (exception: un squelette)

To be added to "masculine endings': after "eau" please add 2 exceptions: une eau, une peau


-aire is not totally masculine: un/une militaire, un/une fonctionnaire...

-e is not typical of any gender

-té (with the acute accent) is typically feminine


Sorry! I couldn't add accents!!


The 'e' is masculine ; no accnts. there is supposed to be an acute accent on e. desole !


Intuition. Or learning the list of rules, but that's boring.

Overall, don't focus on word genders too much, it's much more important to learn vocabulary.

Over time, you will get more and more intuition.

It's a classic mistake, promoted by the school mindset, to focus on genders in languages where they are hard to learn. Learning a vast vocabulary to read/listen to real media content is much more important. You can always perfect the details later.


I am open to answer any questions. If you have any concerns, questions, or critiques, I am open to all. Please give advice to make this discussion better for everyone! Umaiza

  • 2421

I miss the -ion ending, very frequently used, always feminine except, as far as I know, for camion and avion.


I'm lazy. I memorize all the masculine -e endings, and you memorized like 90% of french word gender.


Wow, thx! But actually, there's a lot more to it! You can visit http://grammarist.com/french/french-noun-gender/ to learn more

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