French nouns…remember you have to use the right form of the, a etc., depending on whether the noun is feminine or masculine.

Nouns referring to men and boys are masculine:

A man – un homme, a boy – un garçon, a king – un roi

Nouns referring to women and girls are feminine:

A woman – une femme, a girl – une fille, a queen – une reine

When you use the same word to refer to either men/boys or women/girls, you can simply change the gender, depending on the sex of the person it refers to. You don’t necessarily have to change the word.

Un camarade     – a (male) friend

Une camarade  – a (female) friend

Un Belge           – a Belgian man

Une Belge         – a Belgian woman

However, just as in English, the ending of many French nouns will also change, depending on whether it is a man or woman.

Un Anglais – an Englishman

Une Anglaise – an Englishwoman

As always in French, there are many exceptions to the rules. Some words for people have only one possible gender, regardless of whether they are female or masculine.

Un bébé – a (female or male) baby

More examples:

Un prince – a prince

Une princess – a princess

Un employé – a (male) employee

Une employée – a (female) employee

Un guide – a (female or male) guide

Une personne – a (female or male) person

Une vedette – a (female or male) star

  • More on how to change the endings later.