Noun Genders

1.Some nouns, like l'élève (“the student”), have the same spelling and meaning in both forms.

2.Other nouns have the same spelling, but have different meanings.Un tour is a tour, while une tour is a tower.

3.There are also nouns that only have one possible gender. Even a baby girl is bébé, for instance.

4.Many masculine nouns can be changed to a feminine form simply by adding an -e to the end. Your male friend is un ami and your female friend is une amie.

5.Some genders depend on a noun’s classification. For instance, languages, days of the week, months, seasons, metals, colors, and measurements are mostly masculine.


First, the basic pattern is that nouns ending in -e are feminine. All others, especially nouns ending in consonants, are masculine. This is true for over 70% of all nouns.

Second, there are two consonant endings that are generally feminine: -ion and-son.

Third, there are nouns endings in -e that are usually masculine. These are:

  • -tre, -ble, -cle (think “treble clef”)
  • -one, -ème, -ège (think “OMG”)
  • -age, -isme

Fourth, there are a few endings that either have a lot of exceptions or are otherwise more complicated.

  • -é is masculine, but not -té
  • -de is masculine, but not -ade, -nde, -ude
  • -ste and -me tend to be masculine, but there are dozens of exceptions. Words for people ending in -ste are often gender-neutral, e.g. le/la cycliste.
  • -eur is masculine for most professions or technical terms, but it’s feminine for some emotions and abstract things.
  • le résumé (masc) — the resumé
  • la liberté (fem) — the liberty
  • le guide — the guide
  • la parade — the parade
  • le chauffeur — the driver
  • la peur — the fear

Feminine Animals

In French, female animal nouns are generally formed as follows by taking the last consonant, doubling it, and adding a mute -e to the end.

  • un chat ⇒ une chatte
  • un chien ⇒ une chienne

Of course, there are many exceptions. For example:

  • un ours ⇒ une ourse (not une oursse)                             (bear)
  • un cheval ⇒ une jument (not une chevalle)                    (horse)

Review the partitive article:

romance books need to stop doing that thing where the couple is having a really hard time having a kid and then one of them suggests adoption and the other one is like “NOOOO!!! THAT DOESNT COUNT!! I WANT THIS BABY TO BE OURSS! IT WONT BE REAL ANY OTHER WAY!!!!” like nice job being a horrible person and making adopted ppl who read this feel like shit