Nouns in French are either masculine or feminine.

GCSE French - Masculine FeminineThere are no strict rules which determine the gender of a noun: the best option is to learn the gender at the same time as you learn a new noun.

Depending on the gender of the noun, the articles ‘le’ or ‘un’ are applicable to the noun (in the case of a masculine noun), or the articles ‘la’ or ‘une’ (in the case of a feminine noun).


la maison’

‘le salon’

‘un chien’

‘une fille’

Although there are exceptions, it helps to observe that many nouns ending in-ette, –ion, and –lle are often feminine.

Similarly, nouns ending in –eau and –age are often masculine.

GCSE French - Bicyclettee.g.

‘le manteau’

‘la demi-pension’

‘un oiseau’

‘la bicyclette’

If the noun starts with a vowel or a silent consonant, the article le or la is replaced by l’, for example:




Plural form

In many cases, nouns ending in ‘eau‘ or ‘ou‘ in the singular form take an ‘x’ to form the plural. Other nouns usually adopt an ‘s’ to form the plural.

GCSE French - Gateaue.g.

gteau’ ‘gteaux’

chat’ ‘chats’

‘tables’ ‘tables’

Articles (definite and indefinite)

The French articles ‘le’ and ‘la‘ are the equivalent of the English word ‘the’. This is known as the definite article.

The articles ‘un’ and ‘une‘ are the equivalent of the English word ‘a’ or ‘an’. This is known as the indefinite article.

In the plural form, the definite article becomes ‘les’ and the indefinite article becomes ‘des’.

GCSE French - Articlese.g.

des oiseaux‘ (meaning ‘some birds’)

les gens‘ (meaning ‘the people’)

des livres‘ (meaning ‘some books’)