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Noun: 'a word that can be used to refer to a person or place or thing.'

Remember: all nouns in French have gender (masculine and feminine) and are either singular or plural.

Whenever you refer to a noun, any noun, the words that go with it (adjectives, articles, pronouns etc.) all depend on the gender and the number (singular or plural) of that noun and have to agree.

Learning genders is a right pain in the *[email protected]#$& but they're important and it's not as difficult as you might think.

You probably know more than you realise. 

Masculine and Feminine Verbs

Words, which end as follows, are mostly masculine:

...age ...aire ...eur
...isme ...taire ...ment ...tre ...iste
...ieme ...eau ...ite

Words, which end as follows, are mostly feminine:

...ade ...ion ...ance
...ine ...esse ...ence
...ité ...lette

Now see what you can do!

Use the rules about endings to do the following revision exercise. (You may want to print off the original lists above first.)

Work out if the following words are masculine or feminine, then click on the appropriate button.

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How well did you do this time? Not as difficult as you thought, eh?

Remember: genders are important - they affect adjectives, pronouns and even verbs. The tables above help but you won't be able to take them into the exam with you so you have to learn them.

As well as gender, nouns are also singular or plural.

Most nouns become plural in the same way as in English - add an 's' to the end.

For example: Un chat becomes deux chats

Some (surprise, surprise) are irregular but you probably know most of them.

Below are the irregular ones:

Ending in singular form Ending in plural form Examples
al aux cheval = chevaux
ail aux travail = travaux
au aux château = châteaux
eu eux feu = feux
ou oux bijou = bijoux

If nouns that already end in s, z, or x, you do not add anything.

For example: un fils becomes deux fils

Again, there are exceptions to the rules so if you can, check first. But on the whole the rules do work.

Try this exercise: Work out the plural of these nouns. Type your answer in the box.

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