CHAPTER 2 – Definition – Masculine – Masculin

The French language has two genders: the masculine and feminine genders (le masculin et le féminin).

The masculine gender is one of the two gender-related grammatical categories for nouns and pronouns, which govern their agreement with other words such as adjectives, determiners, and past participles.

In its origins, the French genders (masculine/feminine) were based on the sex or the animate character of the noun/pronoun used. In the case of the masculine gender, this means that nouns innately “male” had automatically a male gender. For example, le monsieur (gentleman), le frère(brother), le fils (son), le bélier (male sheep).

Today, gender is applied rather arbitrarily to most French nouns. I strongly encourage you to study French nouns along with their feminine or masculine articles. It will make remembering their gender much easier.