Lesson 7 – Nouns

Leçon 7 – Nouns

Talking About a Person or a Thing

  1. A noun is a name of a person, place, or thing. In French, every noun has a gender, either masculine or feminine. Except for people, you cannot tell what the gender of the noun is just by looking at it. You need other clues.
  2. Many words that accompany nouns can indicate gender. They are called “gender markers.” Une and un are gender markers; they are indefinite articles and correspond to a/an in English. Une accompanies a feminine noun, and un accompanies a masculine noun.

Indefinite Articles

  • Feminine – une amie; une soeur; une école
  • Masculine – un ami; un frère; un college

Definite Articles

Lela, and l’ are definite articles and often correspond to the in English.

  • Feminine – la fille; la soeur; l’amie
  • Masculine – le garçon; le frère; l’ami

Attention!

Note that the definite articles le and la are shortened to l’ when they accompany a noun that begins with a vowel. When pronounced, the vowel sound is dropped. This is called “elision.”

la amie → l’amie

le ami → l’ami

The of the indefinite article un is pronounced when it accompanies a noun beginning with a vowel. This is called “liaison.”

un ami ; un élève

Describing a Person or a Thing

  • An adjective is a word that describes a noun. The bolded words in the following sentences are adjectives.

La fille est blonde. Le garçon est blond aussi.

Jeann est française. Vincent aussi est français.

  • In French, an adjective must agree with the noun it describes or modifies. Adjectives that end in a consonant such as blond and français have two forms in the singular.

Feminine

La fille est blonde.

La fille est française.

La fille est brune.

La fille est intelligente.

L’ecole est grande.

Masculine

Le garçon est blond.

Le garçon est français.

Le garçon est brun.

Le garçon est intelligent.

Le college est grand.

  • Adjectives that end in e, such as énergique and sympathique, are both masculine and feminine.

Feminine

Charlotte est très énergique.

Elle est sympathique.

Masculine

Nicolas est très énergique.

Il est sympahique.

Attention

When the final consonant is followed by an e, you pronounce the consonant. When a word ends in a consonant, you don’t pronounce it.

petite    petit

française    français

intéressante    intéressant

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