French Language French Grammar: Noun genders often mistaken

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English speakers are often mistaken about the gender of these nouns:


French Nouns Genders[edit | edit source]

French nouns are either masculine or feminine. Masculine nouns use the pronouns "le" and "un" while feminine nouns use "la" and "une".

Gender in the French language is a confusing system for English speakers or non-native speakers. Not to mention that there are divergences in this same linguistic family: “água” is feminine in French, Portuguese and Italian, for example, but masculine in Spanish.

For the list of nouns in the table below, English speakers often use the wrong gender. A word of advice, learn this list by heart!

Often Mistaken MASCULINE nouns[edit | edit source]

English French
choice le choix
character/temperament le caractère
crime le crime
group le groupe
exodus l'exode
lack, lacuna le manque
a vegetable un légume
merit le mérite
the parachute le parachute
the umbrella le parapluie
silence le silence

Often Mistaken FEMININE nouns[edit | edit source]

English French
a cross une croix
a type, a kind une espèce
the end la fin
the forest la forêt
the nut la noix
the screw la vis

Video - French Genders: Rules for Masculine / Feminine Words[edit | edit source]

French nouns are gendered but this does not follow any particular rule or logic. In this episode, you will learn how to easily identify whether a name is masculine or feminine, and you will also learn how to apply the rules.

Gender of Nouns (all lessons)[edit source]

Other Chapters[edit | edit source]

Table of Contents



Personal and impersonal pronouns



Numbers, measurements, time and quantifiers

Verb forms

Verb constructions

Verb and participle agreement


The subjunctive, modal verbs, exclamatives and imperatives

The infinitive


Question formation

Relative clauses


Conjunctions and other linking constructions

Source: Amazon



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