French masculine gender
In French, all nouns have a gender: they are either masculine or feminine. Additionally, words such as adjectives and articles are usually inflected for gender to agree with the noun they modify.
le couteau trachant
un frère heureux
tous les étudiants
How to know whether a noun is masculine
There's no absolute rule for knowing a noun's gender - you simply have to learn the noun along with an indicator of its gender, such as the indefinite article (un stylo).
But there are a few tendencies that can help you recognise some feminine words:
- Most nouns that refer to male people and animals are masculine (e.g. homme, père, étudiant, cousin).
- Most nouns that end a consonant are masculine (un port, un train, le jus), as are the majority of nouns that end in -acle, -age, -asme, -eau, -ède, -ège, -ème, -isme, or -ou.
Note: Masculine is the default gender in agreement when referring to a group of mixed gender people or things.