How do I know if a word is masculine or feminine in French?
Let me give you some tips so you won’t choose the wrong gender again!
To help you know what are feminine names and what are masculine names, check out this video from my YouTube channel.
Remember to put in any subtitles you want to make it easier to understand and read the transcript below!
MASCULIN OU FÉMININ ?
un homme (a man)
une femme (a woman)
un lapin (a rabbit)
une tortue (a turtle)
un bureau (a desk)
une chaise ( a chair)
How do you know if a word is masculine or feminine in French?
This is one of the mistakes that students who learn French make most often…
But don’t worry, I will help you differentiate between masculine and feminine words!
Masculine and Feminine in French
Welcome to Toast my French, my name is Morgane and I am a certified French teacher.
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Today we are going to learn how to tell the difference between male and female names.
Maybe in your language, you don’t differentiate between genders, maybe a masculine word in French is feminine in your language or the other way around, and maybe you even have more than 2 genres in your language!
So how do you know if a word is masculine or feminine in French?
THE MASCULINE AND THE FEMININE
In French, all names have a gender, either masculine or feminine.
For people, this is quite easy: for all names for a man, we use the masculine and for women, the feminine.
Like for example: un Français (a French) (masculine) and une Française (a French) (female)
But for animals, objects, or any other name, how do you know their gender?
WHY IS GENDER IMPORTANT?
First of all, why is it important to use the masculine and feminine well in French?
It is true that some foreign people who speak French very well sometimes have the wrong gender and that does not pose a problem! (We understand!)
But we know straight away that French is not his mother tongue, because no French would make this mistake (normally!).
Another reason is that some words are differentiated only by gender.
For example un livre (a book) and une livre (a pound). We read UN livre (book) and we pay with UNE livre (pound), in England for example.
If you choose the wrong gender, it may be hard to understand you.
(Who would like to pay with a book?)
Now the part you’ve all been waiting for, the secret of the masculine and feminine!
In fact, they are more rules… and exceptions of course!
But if you know these rules, your life will be much easier!
The rules of masculine and feminine
These rules concern the endings of words.
By looking at the end of a name, you can sometimes tell if it’s masculine or feminine!
THE FINAL “E”
The final -e rule is the most important: in general, if you see an -e at the end of a noun, it’s feminine!
For example un lapin (a rabbit), masculine, and une tortue (a turtle), feminine!
But it doesn’t work all the time!
Fortunately, there are other specific feminine and masculine endings.
Here are some feminine endings:
-tion: As une solution (a solution).
–té: like la liberté (freedom).
-ette: like une fourchette (a fork).
-ure: like une voiture (a car).
And here are some male endings:
-age: like un fromage (a cheese).
-ment: like un appartement (an apartment).
-water: like un gâteau (a cake).
-ism: like le charisme (charisma).
Do all these rules seem complicated to you?
Don’t be afraid, it’s the same for (us) the French!
So how do we really do it?
THE TRUE SOLUTION!
Well, it’s very simple, we always think of a name with its determinant, which indicates the genre!
Be sure to follow the tip I am going to give you now which is surely the most important of this lesson!
When you learn a new name in French, ALWAYS learn it with a determinant like un and une (a/an) or le and la (the)!
You have surely heard the expressions “C’est la vie!” (That’s life!) Or “La vie en rose.” (life through rose-tinted glasses) or even “La vie est belle !” (Life is beautiful!), right?
So if I ask you if we say “life” (male) or “life” (female), you will immediately know the correct answer!
Since we always use a determinant with a name in French, imagine it’s a block and always learn them together!
Voilà (That’s it), you will now be able to know more easily which are the masculine words and which are the feminine words!
Be careful, as you know, the French language loves exceptions, and some rules will not always work!
But the technique of learning the determinant with the name will work every time!
Let me know, in the comments, what other French lessons you want to see on this channel!
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