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Gender of French Nouns

Genre des noms français


French nouns are always masculine or feminine, and you usually can't determine the gender just by looking at the word or thinking about what it means. While there are some tendencies in the gender of French nouns - see the table below - there are always exceptions. Please don't use these patterns as a way to avoid learning the genders of nouns - just learn each word as gender + noun and then you'll know them forever.

Nearly all French nouns have different forms for singular and plural. In addition, many nouns that refer to people and animals have both a masculine and a feminine form. Please go on to the next page of this lesson to learn how to make French nouns feminine and plural.

French Gender Patterns

Ending is usually
-age masculine  Exceptions:  une cage, une image, une nage, une page, une plage, une rage
-eau masculine Exceptions: l'eau, la peau
-ée feminine Exceptions: un lycée, un musée
-ion feminine Exceptions: un avion, un bastion, billion, un million, un lion, un scion
-té feminine Exceptions: un comité, un invité
More French gender patterns
In addition, most countries and names that end in e are feminine.

French noun gender quiz
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