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French Language French Grammar: Nouns which refer both to males and to females

From Polyglot Club WIKI

< Language‎ | French‎ | Grammar
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Bonjour! French learners 😀


Nouns in French are either masculine or feminine. Unfortunately, there is no easy rules for predicting the gender of a noun.

Here is a list of French names that refer to either men or women simply by changing the determinant from masculine to feminine:


Please write a comment below if you know of other similar nouns! 👌

Nouns which refer both to males and to females[edit | edit source]

French Translation
un/une adulte an adult
un/une adversaire an adversary
un/une artiste an artist
un/une bibliothécaire a librarian
un/une camarade a comrade
un/une célibataire a bachelor/spinster (an unmarried person)
un/une chimiste a chemist (scientist)
un/une collĂšgue a colleague
un/une compatriote a compatriot
un/une complice an accomplice
un/une concierge a porter
un/une convive a guest
un/une dentiste a dentist
un/une Ă©lĂšve a (school) pupil
un/une enfant a child
un/une esclave a slave
un/une fonctionnaire a civil servant
un/une gosse a kid (a word for a child in informal French)
un/une interprĂšte an interpreter
un/une journaliste a journalist
un/une libraire a bookseller
un/une locataire a tenant
un/une malade a person who is ill
un/une partenaire a partner
un/une patriote a patriot
un/une pensionnaire a boarder (as in boarding school)
un/une philosophe a philosopher
un/une photographe a photographer
un/une pianiste a pianist
un/une pique-assiette a sponger
un/une secrétaire a secretary
un/une touriste a tourist
  • NB: "pupille" meaning "pupil of the eye" is uniquely female. In fixed expressions such as "pupille de la Nation" (Ward of the Nation), "pupille de l'Etat" (Ward of the State), the noun designates a child whose education is funded by the State. In this sense, "pupille" can be masculine or feminine depending on the sex of the child.

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