Short French course

#1
As I see a number of people are wishing “good luckâ€￾ to those going to try and join the Legion or buying Euro millions lottery tickets, be aware that in French it's bonne chance, since chance is a feminine noun and bonne is the feminine form of adjective bon (good). The form used for an adjective must match the gender of the noun it qualifies.
On the other hand one says bon appétit since appétit is a masculine noun. But the tricky thing, in that case, is that the pronunciation of bon is the same as bonne because appétit starts with a vowel and when pronouncing one have to make what's called a liaison because it sounds better.
This distinction between feminine and masculine is a fundamental difference between French (and some other languages, in particular Latin languages) and English. And the bad news is there's no clear rules or logic to know the gender of a noun... That's why we often hear English speakers talking of un chaise (a chair), while it should be une chaise (chaise is a feminine word) or une tabouret (a stool), instead of un tabouret (masculine noun).
Now, if you ask me why chaise is a feminine noun and stool a masculine one... I have no clue :).
 
#2
(...) And the bad news is there's no clear rules or logic to know the gender of a noun... That's why we often hear English speakers talking of un chaise (a chair), while it should be une chaise (chaise is a feminine word) or une tabouret (a stool), instead of un tabouret (masculine noun).
Now, if you ask me why chaise is a feminine noun and stool a masculine one... I have no clue :).
In English and in Bosnian chair (stolica) is of female gender and stool (stolac) is of male. I believe most of the nouns are the same gender in different languages, there most likely are exclusions but you will be right in most of the cases if you presume that gender of the noun is the same as in your mother tongue.
 
1

176607Mick

Unregistered
#5
As I see a number of people are wishing “good luckâ€￾ to those going to try and join the Legion or buying Euro millions lottery tickets, be aware that in French it's bonne chance, since chance is a feminine noun and bonne is the feminine form of adjective bon (good). The form used for an adjective must match the gender of the noun it qualifies.
On the other hand one says bon appétit since appétit is a masculine noun. But the tricky thing, in that case, is that the pronunciation of bon is the same as bonne because appétit starts with a vowel and when pronouncing one have to make what's called a liaison because it sounds better.
This distinction between feminine and masculine is a fundamental difference between French (and some other languages, in particular Latin languages) and English. And the bad news is there's no clear rules or logic to know the gender of a noun... That's why we often hear English speakers talking of un chaise (a chair), while it should be une chaise (chaise is a feminine word) or une tabouret (a stool), instead of un tabouret (masculine noun).
Now, if you ask me why chaise is a feminine noun and stool a masculine one... I have no clue :).
I was going to take a sleeping tablet, but after reading the above, I didn't need it. [emoji16][emoji16][emoji16]
 

SnafuSmite

Active Member
#6
As I see a number of people are wishing “good luckâ€￾ to those going to try and join the Legion or buying Euro millions lottery tickets, be aware that in French it's bonne chance, since chance is a feminine noun and bonne is the feminin form of adjective bon (good). The form used for an adjective must match the gender of the noun it qualifies.
On the other hand one says bon appétit since appétit is a masculine noun. But the tricky thing, in that case, is that the pronunciation of bon is the same as bonne because appétit starts with a vowel and when pronouncing one have to make what's called a liaison because it sounds better.
This distinction between feminine and masculine is a fundamental difference between French (and some other languages, in particular Latin languages) and English. And the bad news is there's no clear rules or logic to know the gender of a noun... That's why we often hear English speakers talking of un chaise (a chair), while it should be une chaise (chaise is a feminine word) or une tabouret (a stool), instead of un tabouret (masculine noun).
Now, if you ask me why chaise is a feminine noun and stool a masculine one... I have no clue :) .
Thanks Rapace, the whole masculine/feminine thing confuses the hell outta me. I think one will only learn through experience and immersion in the French language. Then again English is also a crazy language, I mean you chop a tree down and then you chop it up....
 
#7
(...)I think one will only learn through experience and immersion in the French language. (...)
Correct. Otherwise, if you speak a language that has the same masculine/feminine distinction (like Latin or Slavic languages), you can always, as Sombrerox said, make a reasonably safe bet that the gender of a noun in your native languages will be the same in French.
 
#8
(...) if you speak a language that has the same masculine/feminine distinction (like Latin or Slavic languages), you can always, as Sombrerox said, make a reasonably safe bet that the gender of a noun in your native languages will be the same in French.
It's not always the case, even for two Latin languages... For example la voiture in French (feminine) is o carro in Portuguese (masculine). But we have a viatura which sounds like voiture but is only used for police cars. Why? I don't know either haha. But I always guess that is the same...
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#9
One thing for sure is that when you learn a noun in French you must learn its gender with it. It will make things a lot easier later on. If I remember rightly there are some rules in French which help to learn if it's fem gender; anything ending in elle or ette or ée is usually fem. Of course there are exceptions for example je vais au musée and not je vais à la musée.

Sorry Mick, I should say au temps pour moi.
 
#10
As I see a number of people are wishing “good luckâ€￾ to those going to try and join the Legion or buying Euro millions lottery tickets, be aware that in French it's bonne chance, since chance is a feminine noun and bonne is the feminine form of adjective bon (good). The form used for an adjective must match the gender of the noun it qualifies.
On the other hand one says bon appétit since appétit is a masculine noun. But the tricky thing, in that case, is that the pronunciation of bon is the same as bonne because appétit starts with a vowel and when pronouncing one have to make what's called a liaison because it sounds better.
This distinction between feminine and masculine is a fundamental difference between French (and some other languages, in particular Latin languages) and English. And the bad news is there's no clear rules or logic to know the gender of a noun... That's why we often hear English speakers talking of un chaise (a chair), while it should be une chaise (chaise is a feminine word) or une tabouret (a stool), instead of un tabouret (masculine noun).
Now, if you ask me why chaise is a feminine noun and stool a masculine one... I have no clue :).
I am guilty of making this mistake. You would think that, after two years of studying French, I would know the difference between bon and bonne. I blame it on old age. :p

Bonne chance et bon courage mes amis.
Tom
 
#11
It's not always the case, even for two Latin languages... For example la voiture in French (feminine) is o carro in Portuguese (masculine). But we have a viatura which sounds like voiture but is only used for police cars. Why? I don't know either haha. But I always guess that is the same...
Correct... There are exceptions. That's why I said that assuming a gender of a noun is the same across languages is only a “reasonably safe betâ€￾. It works in many cases but not always. Voiture (feminin in French) is masculine also Spanish (un coche), but feminine in Italian (una macchina).


One thing for sure is that when you learn a noun in French you must learn its gender with it. It will make things a lot easier later on. If I remember rightly there are some rules in French which help to learn if it's fem gender; anything ending in elle or ette or ée is usually fem. Of course there are exceptions for example je vais au musée and not je vais à la musée.


Sorry Mick, I should say au temps pour moi.
That is 100% correct. In some cases, as you said, you can guess the gender of a noun. Une nouvelle (a short story or a piece of news ), une mitraillette (a sub machine-gun) une journée (a day). But un musée (a museum), un mausolée (a mausoleum), etc. In Spanish or in Italian, guessing the gender of a noun is a bit easier. In general nouns ending with o are masculine those ending with a are feminine. But here again there are exceptions...
It's also easy to guess the gender for nouns ending in ice, which are always feminin, like une directrice, feminine form of directeur (a director), or une institutrice, feminine form of instituteur (a school teacher), etc. And when you say je vais au musée (I'm going to the museum), the word au is actually a contraction of à le. One never says je vais à le musée (it sounds awful for a French speaker), but if the word is feminine one says à la e.g. je vais à la piscine (I'm going to the swimming pool).
Anyway, enough of French course for today... or our friend Mick is going to fall asleep again :D.
 
1

176607Mick

Unregistered
#12
Correct. Otherwise, if you speak a language that has the same masculine/feminine distinction (like Latin or Slavic languages), you can always, as Sombrerox said, make a reasonably safe bet that the gender of a noun in your native languages will be the same in French.
My kids grew up speaking Franglais. Even now we as a family use words in our everyday conversations. We call the shower la douche, the bin the poubelle, etc etc so my son would say I'm just going for a douche or I need to take down the poubelle..we are weird
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#13
My kids grew up speaking Franglais. Even now we as a family use words in our everyday conversations. We call the shower la douche, the bin the poubelle, etc etc so my son would say I'm just going for a douche or I need to take down the poubelle..we are weird
Not just your family, in the legion too. A camion, a douche, corvée, garde vingt quatre (24) PLD and lots of other words which creep into the Anglais lingo. To the point we took the phrase Anglais de merde when talking about ourselves.
 

dusaboss

Hyper Active Member
#14
La douche :) It's almost same word in Serbian. Man, I already know French. It's easy. Just combine Serbian and English and put "La" in front of words. :)

Now seriously. There is many words which are same or similar with English or with Serbian. It's much easier to learn new foreign language if you already know one or two from same (Indo-European) language family.

Even more easier if you know language from same group. In case of French that would be Romanic. Spaniards, Portuguese (Brazilians), Italians, Romanians, etc. should have easier time learning French.
 
#15
As I see a number of people are wishing “good luckâ€￾ to those going to try and join the Legion or buying Euro millions lottery tickets, be aware that in French it's bonne chance, since chance is a feminine noun and bonne is the feminine form of adjective bon (good). The form used for an adjective must match the gender of the noun it qualifies.
On the other hand one says bon appétit since appétit is a masculine noun. But the tricky thing, in that case, is that the pronunciation of bon is the same as bonne because appétit starts with a vowel and when pronouncing one have to make what's called a liaison because it sounds better.
This distinction between feminine and masculine is a fundamental difference between French (and some other languages, in particular Latin languages) and English. And the bad news is there's no clear rules or logic to know the gender of a noun... That's why we often hear English speakers talking of un chaise (a chair), while it should be une chaise (chaise is a feminine word) or une tabouret (a stool), instead of un tabouret (masculine noun).
Now, if you ask me why chaise is a feminine noun and stool a masculine one... I have no clue :).
Here is a short introduction to the difference between masculin et féminin. It's all in French, and you should get used to it because all your language instruction will be in French: Home Language. And remember, a lot of words change meaning depending on their gender: un livre et une livre.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#16
Here is a short introduction to the difference between masculin et féminin. It's all in French, and you should get used to it because all your language instruction will be in French: Home Language. And remember, a lot of words change meaning depending on their gender: un livre et une livre.
Hi Tom, not sure if the livre is a good example. Un Livre is a book, Une livre sterling is a pound note (or a weight measure in sterling silver). There's a big difference between the two of them. The same as in English although there is no gender a rainbow and a bow and arrow, spelt the same but not at all the same meaning.
He DOVE into the bushes. A white DOVE.
WIND up a clock. To feel the WIND on your face.
 
#17
Hi Tom, not sure if the livre is a good example. Un Livre is a book, Une livre sterling is a pound note (or a weight measure in sterling silver). There's a big difference between the two of them. The same as in English although there is no gender a rainbow and a bow and arrow, spelt the same but not at all the same meaning.
He DOVE into the bushes. A white DOVE.
WIND up a clock. To feel the WIND on your face.
Hi Joseph,
That is my point: words in French can have different meanings depending on whether it's masculine or feminine. Such as:

[table="width: 300"]
[tr]
[td]le tour trip,ride[/td]
[td]la tour tower[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]le poste job[/td]
[td]la poste post office[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]le moule mold/form [/td]
[td]la moule mussel[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]le poêle stove [/td]
[td]la poêle frying pan[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

As you and others have written, you must learn the correct article for each noun.

All the best,
Tom
 

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