is it required to be specific about the genders

BETHSAINAA0Kwiziq community member

is it required to be specific about the genders

what does it matter if you are saying le ou la in front of the different subjects

Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Bethsaina,

I am afraid it does, the best way to tackle this problem is to learn words with an article in front of it -

La table The table

Le bureau The desk

La clé -----> Les clés The keys/ The keys

Le document ----> Les documents = The document /The documents 

Hope this helps!

LisaA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Bethsaina! Cécile answered your question. I just thought I’d add something that helped me initially. Hopefully it doesn’t just add confusion. Just about every noun and proper noun (eg., a country) has a gender. So far the only things that I have found that don’t have a clear gender are cities. And you have to know the gender for multiple reasons as you’ll learn.

I used to think I could try and guess the gender based upon the noun, like dog should be masculine while cat seems more feminine! But it does not work that way! Silly me. Well, aside from nouns that refer to males like “l’homme” (masc.) (the man) and nouns that refer to females are feminine like “la femme” (the woman.) (This is taken from one of my favorite French books “Easy French Step-By-Step.”)

You can’t really guess the gender but there are some spelling differences in the ENDINGS of a noun that can help distinguish masculine from feminine:

Masculine endings:

-eau.  -ment.  and -isme.

So in the answer Cécile gave, “le bureau” is masculine because it ends in -eau. “Le tourisme” because it ends in -isme. Of course there are exceptions.

Feminine endings:

-ence.  -té.  -ie.  -ude.  -ure and -ion.

“la difference,” “l’attitude” and “la beauté” are feminine because of their endings.

I hope I haven’t confused you more. This helped me a lot. 

SimonKwiziq team member

Hey Bethsaina, 

great answer Lisa!  Aurélie did a good lesson on this too which may add to your thoughts on this:

Identifying gender by some word endings

is it required to be specific about the genders

what does it matter if you are saying le ou la in front of the different subjects

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