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How To Stop Mistaking Feminin and Masculin Nouns

older confused in front of laptop because of french grammar rules

Now that you know the different noun types, MOLKOÏ will help you dress them with their first layer: their gender. Just like in English, it can be feminin, masculin or neutral and we have simple mnemonics to help you choose accordingly. Let's start with the "noms animés" (animated nouns type).

The Rule

The "noms animés" are used in their masculin / feminin form according to the sex of the being they refer to. The masculin / feminin form is carried in the noun itself and in the determiner that introduces it.

Masculin
 Mnemonics
Feminin
un ami
To words ending with -i => add an e
une amie
un policier
To words ending with -er => change the end into ère
une policière
un sportif
To words ending with -f => turn the end into ve
une sportive
un danseur
un époux
To words ending with -r, -x => turn the end into se
une danseuse
une épouse
un criminel
un sot
un chien
To words ending with -l, -n, -t => double the last consonant and add an e
une criminelle
une sotte
une chienne
un instituteur
To words ending with -teurs => turn the end into -trice
une institutrice
un chameau
To words ending with -eau => turn the end into -elle
une chamelle

 

Exception #1

There are a few nouns that only carry the masculin / feminin mark in the determiner.
Masculin Feminin
un propriétaire une propriétaire
un stagiaire une stagiaire
un secrétaire une secrétaire
un ministre une ministre
un pianiste une pianiste
un dentiste une dentiste
un enfant, etc.
une enfant, etc.

Exception #2

There are nouns that are exclusively used in their masculin form no matter the sex of the beings they refer to.
Masculin & Feminin
un médecin
un mannequin
un juge
un vainqueur
un témoin
un usager, etc.

Exception #3

There are nouns that are exclusively used in their feminin form no matter the sex of the beings they refer to.

 

Feminin & Masculin
une altesse
une canaille
une idole
une personne
une recrue
une sentinelle
une star
une vedette
une victime, etc.

Don't worry. It may seem like a lot at first, but the more you refer to these mnemonics, and the more you practice, the more it will become an automatism.

And when you feel like you're ready, here are a few more exceptions: the weirdos - aka the masculin nouns whose feminin form came out of nowhere it seems 🤨
 

I hope that helps. If you have any questions, please leave them in a comment below ↓ and we'll answer them as soon as possible. 😉


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