Gender Rules in French

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
In the French language there are gender rules that you must learn to excel at French grammar. Read along our lesson on how to use these rules and practice with our free printable worksheets!
BA Blog Banner: French Gender

Gender Rules in French Grammar:

Unlike the English language, all the nouns in French have a gender.  The origin of each word’s gender goes back to its Latin or Greek roots. 

In order to better understand these rules, we have come up with some tips and tricks to help you figure out the gender of words in French. 

How to know if a word in French is masculine or feminine:

One quick way to find out if a word in French is feminine or masculine is to look at its ending.

Below is a list of endings of words that are often feminine/masculine. It is important to understand that this is not a grammar rule, meaning not every word with these endings will be feminine or masculine, however it is a good trick to help you begin to understand gender rules in French.

Common Feminine word endings:

-ion: Institution, Natation, Éducation, Télévision, Nutrition, Union, Vocation, Combustion

-ure: Peinture, Agriculture, Nourriture, Coupure, Cure, Signature, Ceinture, Chevelure

-oie: Joie, Oie, voie

-oix: voix

-ette: Baguette, Allumette, Bicyclette, Boulette, Canette, Chaussette, Maquette, Toilette, Omelette, Mouette

-esse: Vitesse, Vieillesse, Tendress, Tristesse, Sagesse, Souplesse, Détresse, Richesse, Princesse, sécheresse

-té: Beauté, Dicté, Santé, Liberté, Sécurité, Activité, Volonté, Propriété, Vérité, Scolarité, personnalité

Common Masculine word endings:

-ier: Courrier,Cahier, Collier, Métier, Panier, Papier, Palmier, Sentier

-ment: Élément, Document, Condiment, Équipement, Évènement, Appartement

-isme: Cyclisme, Graphisme, Perfectionnisme, Vandalisme

-teur: Moteur, Prédateur, Narrateur, Animateur

-age: Âge, Nuage, Dommage, Garage, Ménage, Pelage

-oir: Soir, Espoir, Savoir, Couloir, Miroir

-al: Journal, Bal, Coral, Idéal, Métal, Cheval

-on: Garçon, Béton, Citron, Melon, Dragon, Bâton, Bonbon 

Feminine word endings 

-ion

-ure

-oie

-oix

-ette

-esse

-té

Institution

Natation

Éducation

Télévision

Nutrition

Union

Vocation

Combustion

Peinture

Agriculture

Nourriture

Coupure

Cure

Signature

Ceinture

Chevelure

Joie

Oie

voie

Voix

Baguette

Allumette

Bicyclette

Boulette

Canette

Chaussette

Maquette

Toilette 

Omelette

Mouette 

Vitesse

Vieillesse

Tendresse

Tristesse

Sagesse

Souplesse

Détresse

Richesse

Princesse

sécheresse

Beauté

Dicté

Santé

Liberté 

Sécurité

Activité

Volonté

Propriété

Vérité

Scolarité

personnalité



Masculine word endings 

-ier

-ment

-isme

-teur

-age

-oir

-al

-on

Courrier

Cahier

Collier

Métier

Panier

Papier

Palmier

sentier

Élément

Document

Condiment

Équipement 

Évènement

Appartement



Cyclisme

Graphisme

Perfectionnisme

Vandalisme

Moteur

Prédateur

Narrateur

Animateur



Âge

Nuage

Domage

Garage

Ménage

Pelage

Soir

Espoir

Savoir

Couloir

Mirroir

Journal

Bal

Coral

Idéal

Métal

Cheval



Garçon

Béton

Citron

Melon

Dragon

Bâton

bonbon

In French, there are always millions of exceptions. Therefore, if one word does not belong to one of these categories or if you have any doubts, it is always good to refer back to a French dictionary! 

Gender Rules in French: Articles

Now that you know more about how to recognize the feminine and masculine words in French, it is time to learn about the articles. In French, the articles vary according to the gender and the singularity (or plurality) of the noun.

Here is a chart that will help you understand French articles, and help you choose the right one:

Feminine singular

Feminine 

plural

Masculine singular

Masculine 

plural

La (definite)

Les (definite)

Le (definite)

Les (definite)

une (indefinite)

Des (indefinite)

Un (indefinite)

Des (indefinite)

Feminine singular

Feminine 

plural

La (definite)

Les (definite)

une (indefinite)

Des (indefinite)

Masculine singular

Masculine 

plural

Le (definite)

Les (definite)

Un (indefinite)

Des (indefinite)

Free Printable Worksheets to Practice Gender Rules in French:

Now that you’ve learned how to determine the gender of different words in French, it’s time to practice your use of gender rules! We have created free printable worksheets to help you tackle the gender in French grammar:

 

Worksheet 1 

Worksheet 2 

Leave a Reply

Hmm...it looks like we could not save your information, please try again.
Welcome To The Family!

Subscribe

Recent Posts

Follow Us!