A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place or thing, so it can represent something concrete, or sometimes abstract.
In French, nouns have genders which means that they can either be feminine or masculine.
- If the noun is feminine, it will have the little pronoun “LA” OR “UNE” in front of it.
- If the noun is masculine, it will have the little pronoun “LE” OR “UN” in front of it.
Some genders make sense and are therefore easy to guess, but a lot of them don’t so this can be a little bit difficult to get right when you first learn French.
Even though it’s important to know the genders of nouns, it shouldn’t stop you communicating with native French speakers.
Also, there are quite a few French nouns with different meanings depending on whether they are masculine or feminine.
Some advice about genders
- Always learn nouns with their gender
- Don’t worry if you get the gender wrong, you will learn them over time.