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Learn French Online – Lesson 3 – Gender of Nouns and Articles

In French, every noun has a gender. It’s either masculin (male) or féminin (female).

You can tell the gender of a noun by the article that comes before it.

The English a will be un (m) or une (f).

The English the will be le (m) or la (f).

Examples:

une tasse (f)
a cup

un poisson (m)
a fish

la nuit (f)
the night

la journée (f)
the day / daytime

le soleil (m)
the sun

la lune (f)
the moon

la voiture (f)
the car

le camion (m)
the truck

une banane (f)
a banana

un citron (m)
a lemon

la chaussure (f)
the shoe

le sac (m)
the bag

la terre (f)
the earth

le moteur (m)
the engine

How do I know the gender of a French noun? I learn the noun with its article.

Qu’est-ce que c’est?
What is this?

C’est une tasse. (f)
It’s a cup.

For people, the grammatical gender is the same as the gender of the person.

un homme
a man

un garçon
a boy

une femme
a woman

une fille
a girl

For animals, it depends.

Some animals have a “general gender” by which we refer to them.

We always say:

un zèbre (m)
a zebra
une girafe (f)
a giraffe

If we want to be specific about the gender of the animal, we will add mâle or femelle to the noun.

un mâle
a male

une girafe mâle
a male giraffe

une femelle
a female

une girafe femelle
a female giraffe

Other animals have a different or modified noun for the female:

un lion
a lion

un chat
a cat

un chien
a dog

un mouton
a sheep

un cochon
a pig

une lionne (f)
a female lion

une chatte (f)
a female cat

une chienne (f)
a female dog

une brebis (f)
a sheep

une truie (f)
a female pig

More Basic French Lessons

  • Previous Lesson – Greetings Part 2 In this basic French lesson we learn how to greet someone we know and are familiar with. These greetings are a little different than the ones we would use with someone we just met.
  • Next Lesson – The L apostophe Learn all bout the L apostrophe as we expand on French articles and the gender of nouns and articles

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Leave A Reply (138 comments so far)


  1. masuda
    6 years ago

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  2. Jenna
    6 years ago

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  3. Vinusim
    6 years ago

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  4. PAULO HENRIQUE
    6 years ago

    I loved the site congratulations, I’m learning a lot from him, I am Brazilian and my dream is to learn French, I am studying English I speak enough.
    grateful.

    J’ai adoré le site félicitations, j’apprends beaucoup de lui, je suis brésilien et mon rêve est d’apprendre le français, je suis étudiant en anglais, je parle pas assez.
    reconnaissant.


  5. osama
    6 years ago

    Excellent view of the lessons since she fascinated by hearing and consideration. Thank you very much for the view and convenience in explanation.


  6. Lisa
    6 years ago

    really great lesson!!! I have been working out of a book and getting increasingly bored!! The way this French is presented is very engaging :) The guy you work with goes nice and slow and really explains everything, It feels very personal. I think the only way you could make it better is to have a video of the guy speaking to you (just because if feels so one on one). Thank you! cant wait to move onto the next lessons.


  7. Bravo
    6 years ago

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  8. moi
    6 years ago

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  9. nader
    6 years ago

    i did like the way things are explained until now. It goes smooth from the initials and gets you in love to learn french and develops a believe in you that the french language is easy to learn.


  10. Hakob Mnatsakanyan
    6 years ago

    Dear Sirs,

    I am beginner for French. thanks for your lessons, those are very useful.!!!

    My question is about typing of some French symbols, such as: oe, a with `chapeur` and etc. help me please.

    thanks in advance.