French nouns: same word, different gender


The Eiffel Tower and the Tour de France. Two of the most iconic aspects of French culture. The word for 'tower' and 'tour' happen to be the same in French, differentiated only by the gender of the word:

La tour Eiffel

Le Tour de France

And yes, it is generally considered correct to go upper case with the bike race but not with the tower.


There are quite a few other examples of this phenomenon and once you see the list you will start to spot patterns. A couple to whet your appetite:

* Le champagne is the drink, whereas la Champagne is the region.

* 'Orange' in the masculine form refers to the colour, and in the feminine it is the fruit.

* Same principle with "rose": colour and flower respectively, masculine and feminine.

And a reasonable question for the time of year... what's the French word for Easter again?

* Les Pâques (plural) is best, but you can also see it in the masculine singular.

* La Pâque(s) means Passover.


You can find a much longer list (click below), but even this is my edited-down version: words that might actually be useful in real life. I'm assuming that you're not really interested to get to the level of the difference between the two 'gîtes' : masculine = tourist accommodation, feminine = the listing of a ship!


Masc and Fem same French nouns
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We are currently aiming to expand our range of French classes, which means it is the perfect time to contact us if you are considering learning this amazing language - whatever level you are working at/towards.

Please make contact using the online form here, or send me an email directly: andrew@sameskylanguages.co.uk


A bientôt !


Andrew Wenger

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