French Gender -> How to guess whether a noun is feminine or masculine ?

Bonjour à toutes et à tous !

A very common nightmare for French students is the gender ! Why "une chaise" (a chaire) is feminine and "un canapé" (a sofa) masculine ?

Well, a very interesting study by McGill University tells us that we can actually find the gender of a French noun with more than 90% accuracy just by looking at its ending ! Oulala !

Let's have a look.

You can be 90% sure that these are masculine noun endings:

-an, -and, -ant, -ent, -in, -int, -om, -ond, -ont, -on (but not after s/c¸)
-eau, -au, -aud, -aut, -o, -os, -ot
-ai, -ais, -ait, -es, -et
-ou, -out, -out, -oux
-i, -il, -it, -is, -y
-at, -as, -ois, -oit
-u, -us, -ut, -eu
-er, -e´after C
-age, -ege, – eme, -ome/- ome, -aume, -isme
-as, -is, -os, -us, -ex
-it, -est
-al, -el, -il, -ol, -eul, -all
-if, -ef
-ac, -ic, -oc, -uc
-am, -um, -en
-air, -er, -erf, -ert, -ar, -arc, -ars, -art, -our, -ours, -or, -ord, -ors, -ort, -ir, -oir, -eur
-ail, -eil, -euil, -ueil

You can be 90% sure that these are feminine noun endings:

-aie, -oue, -eue, -ion, -te, – ´ ee, -ie, -ue
-asse, -ace, -esse, -ece, -aisse, -isse/-ice, -ousse, -ance, -anse, -ence, -once
-enne, -onne, -une, -ine, -aine, -eine, -erne
-ande, -ende, -onde, -ade, -ude, -arde, -orde
-euse, -ouse, -ase, -aise, -ese, -oise, -ise, -yse, -ose, -use
-ache, -iche, -eche, -oche, -uche, -ouche, -anche
-ave, -eve, -ive
-iere, -ure, -eure
-ette, -ete, – ˆ ete, -atte, -otte, -oute, -orte, -ante, -ente, -inte, -onte
-alle, -elle, -ille, -olle
-aille, -eille, -ouille
-appe, -ampe, -ombe

Ok, I agree, that's still a lot to remember. Mais c'est toujours mieux que rien non ? :)

Here is the link for the McGill study :

1 mai 2018
Why is writing so important.
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Denise Cupido
9 juillet 2020
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9 juillet 2020