Apprendre la langue Française (Part Huit) – french nouns

Source: French Language Guide

A noun is a word that represents a thing, whether that thing is concrete or abstract.

It is as basic as it is in English.

En français, non!

Apparently, all French nouns have gender, homme (man/masculine) or femme (woman/feminine).

Why it is important to know? Because articles, adjectives, and verbs change depending on the gender of the noun they precede or follow.

Funny thing is, a noun personne (person) is always feminine, even if the person is a man! This is just amongst a few challenges in learning this language, how nice. Just imagine thousands of French words to learn and you even have to know if it’s masculin ou féminin!

un livre book (h)
une chaise chair (f)

There are even a few exceptions in the gender ruling over French nouns.

For instance, countries and names that end in ‘e’ are usually (but then again, not always!) feminine. To summarize:

-ion Feminine un lionun scion

un avion

un millionun billion

un bastion

-té Feminine un comité un invité
-ée Feminine un lycée un musée
-age Masculine une pageune nage

une cage

une plageune rage

une image

-eau Masculine l’eau (fem.) une peau

Plural of Regular French Nouns

Most French nouns form their plural by adding ‘S’ (write), but usually sound the same as singular (speak).

Nearly all French nouns have different forms for singular and plural. In addition, many nouns that refer to people have both a masculine and a feminine form. Many of the rules here also apply to adjectives.

Note that the gender rules below apply only to people and some animals. They do not apply to objects, which have a masculine or a feminine form, never both.

A. Most nouns add an e for feminine and an s for plural

MASC. invité invités ami amis
FEM. invitée invitées amie amies

B. When a noun ends in ‘e’, there is no difference between the masculine and feminine forms

MASC. touriste touristes
FEM. touriste touristes

C. When a noun ends in ‘s,’ x,’ or’ z’ there is no difference between the singular and plural forms

le fils les fils
le gaz les gaz

D. Irregular gender patterns

-an paysan paysanne
-en gardien gardienne
-on patron patronne
-er boulanger boulangère
-eur danseur danseuse
-teur acteur actrice

E. Irregular plural patterns

-ail travail travaux
-al cheval chevaux
-eau château chateaux
-eu feu feux
-ou bijou bijoux

2 Responses to Apprendre la langue Française (Part Huit) – french nouns

  1. acmanapat says:

    This post is very informative, Perps! ^_^

    My girlfriend really wants to study French.. I really wish you could meet her.. I believe she will learn a lot from you about this wonderful subject..

    More power to you! ^_^

    • perkyperps says:

      You’re welcome. I’m still in the learning curve, a novice as a matter of fact! These are my study (cheat) notes.

      Nice to hear that your girlfriend is interested to learn French. I’m studying on my own for now, but it’d be more helpful if she takes formal classes too. I did before, and I’d love to go back soon. 🙂

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