mercredi 15 mai 2013

La Barbe: Feminine Beards and Other Mysteries of French Grammatical Gender

Robin F. KellerUniversity of Rhode Island


Grammatical gender in French language is one of the biggest guessing games for a native English speaker. Why a table is feminine and a book is masculine is a question that plagues those learning French as a second language. In French, all nouns have gender, masculine and feminine. The complication: only a small percentage of the nouns are assigned gender semantically leaving the remaining which are assigned gender seemingly arbitrarily. For English native speakers, the distinction of these basic parts in a foreign language is not a natural skill. The simple fact that nouns are either feminine or masculine is troubling to students of the French language.

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