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How to know what word to put???

I am confused because some words are 'female' and some words are 'male' but how do I know? And when saying, 'a french woman', how come it looks like you are saying, 'a woman french'???

May 23, 2020


[deactivated user]

    That is just the way the French say things (they think we are odd for having adjectives first!).

    You need to learn the gender and noun together when you come across a new word - for example un homme and une table , and just accept French is different.

    Don't worry about it - over time, it will start to feel right.


    some words are 'female' and some words are 'male' but how do I know?

    Nouns are feminine or masculine. You need to remember the gender of each new noun you learn, and the easiest way is to always learn it with the indefinite article (un / une).

    how come it looks like you are saying, 'a woman french'???

    It is just a different word order. Languages have very different sentence structures, and french is not so different from english in that regard, but yes, most adjectives come after the noun they describe (but not always).

    link : Le genre: gender of French nouns on Lingolia
    link : Position of adjectives in French grammar on Lingolia




    your formatting layout of your comment looks cool and very professional.

    Thanks for helping us to make the community forum a better world.


    One of the Arabic contributors puts it like this:

    In Arabic we say "the house white" rather than "the white house" because house is the important thing. I want to tell you about a house primarily. That it is white is incidental. So it comes later. It is possible that the latinate mind works like this as well, so in the Romance language adjectives follow nouns.

    There are a few instances in French, and in other Romance Languages as well, where the adjectives come before the noun. It seems that in those cases it is the adjective that is more important. "a good boy" is an example of one of those. I suppose that here the most important characteristic is that he is good. That he is a boy is of secondary importance.

    That's one way you can think about it.

    I see you're studying chinese as well. Wicked hard language, but the good news is that they always put the adjective before the noun, just like English. The white house is bái gōng. (they don't really have a word for "the" but at least the order is what you would expect: white before house. The Big White House has that same order as well, Dà Bái Gōng). And that goes for all chinese adjectives.


    Thanks for taking the time to write all this out! I found it really helpful :)


    Very interesting Angus. Thanks. Have a lingot.

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