French Gender -> How to guess whether a noun is feminine or masculine ?

Bonjour à toutes et à tous !

A very common nightmare for French students is the gender ! Why "une chaise" (a chaire) is feminine and "un canapé" (a sofa) masculine ?

Well, a very interesting study by McGill University tells us that we can actually find the gender of a French noun with more than 90% accuracy just by looking at its ending ! Oulala !

Let's have a look.

You can be 90% sure that these are masculine noun endings:

-an, -and, -ant, -ent, -in, -int, -om, -ond, -ont, -on (but not after s/c¸)
-eau, -au, -aud, -aut, -o, -os, -ot
-ai, -ais, -ait, -es, -et
-ou, -out, -out, -oux
-i, -il, -it, -is, -y
-at, -as, -ois, -oit
-u, -us, -ut, -eu
-er, -e´after C
-age, -ege, – eme, -ome/- ome, -aume, -isme
-as, -is, -os, -us, -ex
-it, -est
-al, -el, -il, -ol, -eul, -all
-if, -ef
-ac, -ic, -oc, -uc
-am, -um, -en
-air, -er, -erf, -ert, -ar, -arc, -ars, -art, -our, -ours, -or, -ord, -ors, -ort, -ir, -oir, -eur
-ail, -eil, -euil, -ueil
-ing

You can be 90% sure that these are feminine noun endings:

-aie, -oue, -eue, -ion, -te, – ´ ee, -ie, -ue
-asse, -ace, -esse, -ece, -aisse, -isse/-ice, -ousse, -ance, -anse, -ence, -once
-enne, -onne, -une, -ine, -aine, -eine, -erne
-ande, -ende, -onde, -ade, -ude, -arde, -orde
-euse, -ouse, -ase, -aise, -ese, -oise, -ise, -yse, -ose, -use
-ache, -iche, -eche, -oche, -uche, -ouche, -anche
-ave, -eve, -ive
-iere, -ure, -eure
-ette, -ete, – ˆ ete, -atte, -otte, -oute, -orte, -ante, -ente, -inte, -onte
-alle, -elle, -ille, -olle
-aille, -eille, -ouille
-appe, -ampe, -ombe
-igue

Ok, I agree, that's still a lot to remember. Mais c'est toujours mieux que rien non ? :)


Here is the link for the McGill study : https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-french-language-studies/article/predictability-in-french-gender-attribution-a-corpus-analysis/1614CE6C046E4C05A9DBBCD3321327F4


May 1, 2018
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Arthur

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Bonjour tout le monde ! My name is Arthur and I’m native from Paris, and I'm a professional French teacher. I am also a freelancer and frequently write for magazines and newspapers. Teaching french since 2015, in London, Tokyo and Granada, I am fascinated by the French language, by its beauty, its poetry, its nuances and its subtlety. I would like to share this passion with you and help you discover the treasures of the French language. Whether you want to learn French for your studies, for your work, for your life projects or just as a hobby, I will be very happy to help you, no matter your level. I consider that learning a language is like planting a forest First you choose your seeds carefully; then you plant them, but not just any old way, not anywhere and not at any time. This is the role of the gardener ; choosing the right seeds, the right moment and the right place to plant them. Each seed planted is a new knowledge, a new skill that needs to be taken care of, esp...
Flag
French
globe
France
time
453
Speaks:
French
Native
,
English
C1
,
Romanian
B1
Bonjour tout le monde ! My name is Arthur and I’m native from Paris, and I'm a professional French teacher. I am also a freelancer and frequently write for magazines and newspapers. Teaching french since 2015, in London, Tokyo and Granada, I am fascinated by the French language, by its beauty, its poetry, its nuances and its subtlety. I would like to share this passion with you and help you discover the treasures of the French language. Whether you want to learn French for your studies, for your work, for your life projects or just as a hobby, I will be very happy to help you, no matter your level. I consider that learning a language is like planting a forest First you choose your seeds carefully; then you plant them, but not just any old way, not anywhere and not at any time. This is the role of the gardener ; choosing the right seeds, the right moment and the right place to plant them. Each seed planted is a new knowledge, a new skill that needs to be taken care of, esp...
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