Updated: Sep 21, 2018
Salut chers amis _(salou sherzami)_
Hello dear friends! It is another beautiful day. I hope you've been able to master some of the examples on the masculine gender of french nouns which we treated last time.
Do you still remember you were advised to make conscious effort to memorize each french noun alongside its gender immediately you come across any? Good. We are going to continue from where we stopped last time on gender of french nouns.
Today, I will be guiding you through how you can recognize a feminine noun in french.
Just as the masculine nouns take the small variable "Le" so also the feminine nouns take the small variable "la". Although it can be " l' " in some cases where the noun begins with a vowel or a silent H or "Les" in cases where the noun is a plural noun (applicable to both "Le" and "la"). This will be discussed better under "Articles".
Don't forget, this is not a set of rules to follow but just a guide to recognizing the gender of french nouns with a bit of ease.
1. Names of PERSONS or ANIMALS of FEMALE sex are feminine nouns.
¤ la mère - Mother ¤ la soeur - Sister ¤ la poule - Hen ¤ la fille - Girl/Daughter
2. COUNTRIES that have "e" as their ending are féminine nouns.
¤ la France - France ¤ la Chine - China ¤ la Suisse - Switzerland ¤ la Côte-d'Ivoire - Ivory coast ¤ la Belgique - Belgium
Note: le Mozambique (Mozambic), le Zimbabwe, le Cambodge and le Mexique (Mexico) do not agree with this as they take the small variable "le" instead. So, we can say they are exceptions.
3. Most names of FRUITS are féminine nouns. Examples:
¤ la pomme - Apple ¤ la mangue - Mango ¤ la banane - Banana ¤ la goyave - Guava ¤ la poire - Pear
4. SCIENCE SUBJECTS are féminine nouns.
¤ la biologie - Biology ¤ la mathématique - Mathematics ¤ la statistique - Statistics ¤ la chimie - Chemistry
5. COMPOUND WORDS made with "mi-" are féminine.
¤ la mi-temps - Half-time ¤ la mi-septembre - Mid-septembre ¤ la mi-hauteur - Mid-height
6. The following are known as natural féminine nouns even when they stand for mâle persons.
¤ la personne - person ¤ la victime - victim ¤ la vedette - star (as in star artist)
N:B The endings of nouns are also used to determine the gender of French nouns, most especially for inanimate nouns.
Even if the gender of inanimate objects remains arbitrary in French, it is possible in some certain cases to be able to guess correctly their gender. In such cases, the ending of the noun can give a clear clue on the gender of the noun (mostly for inanimate nouns).
This is just to prepare your mind as we put you through this in the next lesson.
Till we meet again, do not stop learning and increasing in knowledge Bonne journée (bornjoornay)- have a nice day.
- Awodirepo O.