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Gender in French

Spoken by over 200 million people as a native tongue and an additional 68 millio
n non-native speakers, French, a language that descended from Latin, is definite
ly worth learning. Taking French language courses to learn this language opens u
p many opportunities for advancement, both in ones career as well as in broadenin
g ones perspective on the culturally-rich language. Besides, if you ever get to v
isit Paris, then you will likely appreciate even more the stylish and flirtatiou
s architecture, the stylish restaurants, the nightlife and the all-too-frequent b
onjours that you are going to encounter.
One of the important things to learn when taking French language courses is that
the French language, as opposed to English, is that French words have a gender.
Like the German language, the distribution of masculine and feminine genders wi
ll need to be learnt by heart. The gender in French is determined by the article
the in English. In French, the article the is le in its masculine form while in its f
eminine form, it is la. The indefinite article in its masculine and feminine forms
is un and une respectively. For example, the expression the table would read la table
n French. A hand would read la main.
Adjectives in French change according to the gender and the number of the noun w
hich they qualify. The same rules that draw up the nouns are applicable as well
to the adjectives. When taking French language courses you will also come across
concordance rules that involve gender. For example, when the noun with an adjec
tive qualifies is feminine, an e is appended to the adjective if it does not alrea
dy end with an e. The other concordance rule involves numbers. An adjective referr
ing to a plural form or more than one, thes is appended to it if the adjective doe
s not end with ans, x or a z. The above 2 rules are also considered cumulative. This m
eans that if an adjective qualifies to be both a feminine and in plural, it take
s an e and ans at the end. However, masculine wins over the feminine. This means tha
t if there is a group that has both masculine and feminine nouns, the masculine
concordance rule applies.
Generally, the noun or group of nouns is preceded by the adjectives. This rule h
owever is not rigid and it can sometimes change the meaning of a sentence, so ta
ke caution. As you continue to take your French language courses, you will soon
be combining words to build sentences and in time you will find the le French lang
uage bon.