On the previous page, you learned how to use Articles before a noun. Now it’s time to learn how to identify the gender of French nouns.
But how do you know if the word culture is masculine or feminine?
I must say that gender is usually arbitrary in French. But there are tips and tricks! Find out now how to learn French nouns! And you’ll be able to speak French like a native!
1. Gender Identification by Word Endings
In French, all nouns with the following endings are feminine:
- -sion : la mission (the mission)
- -tion : la traduction (the translation)
- –aison : la maison (the house)
- –ance : la connaissance (the knowledge)
- –ence : la patience (the patience)
- –té : la beauté (the beauty)
- –ude : la certitude (the certainty)
- –ale : la cathédrale (the cathedral)
- –ole : la parole (the word)
- –ure : la culture (the culture)
All nouns with the following endings are masculine:
- –asme : l’enthousiasme (the enthusiasm)
- –isme : le nationalisme (the nationalism)
- –eau : le couteau (the knife)
- –ment : le gouvernement (the government)
- –acle : le spectacle (the show)
2. Plural Forms of French Nouns
Usually French nouns add an -s to form the plural form.
le garçon → les garçons
la fille → les filles
There are some rules you may want to know though:
► Nouns ending in -s, -x or -z are alike in both the singular and the plural forms.
le bras → les bras (arm)
le prix → les prix (price)
le nez → les nez (nose)
► Nouns ending in -au, -eau or -eu add -x to form the plural.
le noyau → les noyaux (pit of a fruit)
le château → les châteaux (castle)
le jeu → les jeux (game)
► Nouns ending in -al change -al to -aux to form the plural.
le cheval → les chevaux (horse)
l’hôpital → les hôpitaux (hospital)
► Seven nouns ending in -ou add -x to form the plural.
le bijou → les bijoux (jewel)
le caillou → les cailloux (stone)
le chou → les choux (cabbage)
le genou → les genoux (knee)
le hibou → les hiboux (owl)
le joujou → les joujoux (toy)
le pou → les poux (flea, louse)
All other nouns ending in -ou are regular and add -s