Masculine or Feminine Rule = French

Subject = French

This document tells you how to identify whether a word is feminine or masculine.

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Generally masculine Generally feminine
Nouns referring to male people. Nouns referring to female people.
These are feminine, whatever the
A handful of nouns are masculine, whatever the gender of
gender of the
the person they refer to,
person: personne,victime, recrue
e.g.: amateur, auteur,témoin, vainqueur, voyou plus
(recruit), connaissance (acquainta
certain job titles.
nce).
Certain nouns referring to animals
that can refer to only the female of
Certain nouns referring to animals that can refer to only
the species. For
the male of the species. For
example: chatte (female
example: étalon (stallion),cerf (stag), matou (tomcat).
cat), chienne (bitch),louve (she-w
olf).
Feminine nouns that are 'generic'
Masculine nouns that are 'generic' terms and can refer to terms and can refer to either male
either a male or female of the species. For example,le or female of the species. For
cheval can refer to either a male or female horse. example, la souris can refer to
either a male or female mouse.
Names of towns. Other place names (departments, rivers,
Place names ending in -e.
countries) not ending in -e.
Common exception: la
Franche-Comté (French
department). Sometimes town
Common exceptions: le Mexique, le Combodge, le
names, especially if they look or
Rhône, le Finistère (French department), le
sound feminine
Zimbabwe (-e pronounced).
(e.g. Marseilles ending in -es), can
be treated as feminine. This is quite
rare, though.
Nouns ending in: Nouns ending in:
-age -tion, -sion and -son
-ment -ure
-il, -ail, -eil, -ueil -ude, -ade
-é (but not -té) -ée
-eau and -ou -té
-ème, -ège -ière
-i, -at, -et and -ot Consonant followed by -ie
-er -euse
-oir -ance, -ence
-isme Most other endings
-ing consisting of Vowel +
-ard Consonant +
Words ending in other consonants (in the spelling). e: -ine,-ise, -alle, -elle, -
esse, -ette etc

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Figurative nouns ending in -eur,
Nouns ending in -eur, generally derived from a verb,
usually derived from an
denoting people or machines carrying out an
adjective:rougeur, largeur, pâleur,
activity:aspirateur, facteur, ordinateur
couleur, horreur, rumeur
Principal exceptions (look feminine but actually Principal exceptions (look masculine
masculine): cimetière, episode, espace, intervalle,lyc but actually
ée, magazine, mille, musée, réverbère, silence,squel feminine): cage,eau, image, merci
ette, stade , page, peau, plage
Compound nouns of the
form verb-noun: porte-monnaie, pare-brise, tire-bo --
uchon.…read more

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