Saturday, May 15, 2010

Male & Female Words's possibly the most confusing & one of the most difficult things about learning French.

Objects (nouns) in French are either male or female. It has nothing do with whether a man uses something or a woman uses something. An object can have a male designation or a female designation. For instance "Une bicyclette" (oon bee see kleht) -a bicycle, is considered a female noun. It doesn't matter if it belongs to a man or a woman. "Un livre" (uhn lee vruh) -a book, is considered a male noun.

There is no way to tell if a word is male or female. This knowledge only comes with practicing & looking up words in the french dictionary. This is a part of french grammer.

Which leads us to:

"A" & "The"

This is one example where you have to know whether a word is male or female. The word for "A" in french is "un (uhn) for a male object, and "une" (oon) for a female object.
For example :

male words always use "un" before them: un livre (uhn lee vruh) "a book", un billet (uhn bee yay) "a ticket", un autobus (uhn awe toe booce) "a bus"

female words always use "une" before them: une bicyclette (oon bee see kleht) "a bicycle", une voiture (oon vwah churr) "a car", une veste (oon vehst) "a jacket"

The word for "The" is "le" for a male noun, and "la" for a female noun, as in : le livre (leh lee vruh) "the book", la bicyclette (lah bee see kleht) "the bicycle"

This is just a few reasons why you have to know if an object is male or female. There are many other grammatical reasons, but I don't want to scare you off.

Soooooooo... If you get it wrong when you say the words, if you should put "le" in front of "bicyclette" or "une" in front of "livre", don't fret, most likely you will be still understood when you go to France.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much this was very usefull and it helped me alot in my french progect


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