Pronouns

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Pronouns

What do you mean it’s “the green” in French? – Some Gr. 9 French Student Somewhere

A lot of students struggle with the idea of pronouns, and so do teachers, teaching them.  If you are looking for other

tenses, such as present tense, past tense, and future tense, click on the links provided.

Having to constantly remind students of pronouns every class…

But the way pronouns work in French is quite simple, as teachers know!

In French, every noun must have a pronoun!

Important note: 

Every noun has a gender in French (masculine or feminine)

Also, every noun can be singular or plural

Examples:

Le chien (masculine singular) – the dog

La chaise (feminine singular) – the chair

Les chiens (masculine plural) – the dogs

Les chaises (feminine plural) – the chairs

Because every noun is masculine or feminine; singular or plural, there are multiple different correct pronouns.

How can you tell if a verb is masculine, or feminine?

Follow this simple rule to be right about 80% of the time (good rule of thumb for students):

If it ends in an E, it is feminine, otherwise it is masculine

Examples:

Le chat – masculine (it ends in t, not e) – the cat

Le stylo – masculine (it ends in an o, not an e) – the pen

La tablette – feminine (it ends in an e) – the tablet

La chaussure – feminine (ends in an e) – the shoe

Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but it gives students an easy general rule to follow, and then they can learn the exceptions as they go.

How can you tell if a noun is singular or plural?

Follow this simple rule:

If it ends in x or s, it is plural

Note: You can also tell if the word is masculine or feminine still, even if it is plural. Just look at the letter before the x or s! (If it is an E, that word is feminine, if not, it is masculine)

Examples:

Les chiens – masculine, plural – the dogs

Les châteaux – masculine, plural – the castles

Les filles – feminine, plural – the girls

Les nuages – feminine, plural – the clouds

What are the 4 most common pronouns?

They are the following:

The, my, of, and at

Here is how to say these 4 in French:

TheMyOfAt
Masculine SingularLeMonDe (Du – de le)Au
Feminine SingularLaMaDe laÀ la
Plural (For both masculine and feminine)LesMesDesAux

Note: The pronouns take the gender of the word they are describing, NOT the person describing them. This leads to strange things like a boy having a head that is feminine, in French.

Examples: 

For a boy, it is ma tête, for his head, even though the boy is masculine, the word tête is feminine, and pronouns take the gender of the word they are describing.

The:

Le chat – the cat

La giraffe – the giraffe

Les arbres – the trees

My:

Ma chambre – my room

Mon auto – my car

Mes frères – my brothers

Of:

Du printemps – of spring

De la personne – of the person

Des enfants – of the kids

At:

Au parc – at the park

À la patinoire – at the skating rink

Aux jeux – At the games

Note: In French, we don’t say we’re going to places, like in English. Instead, we say we’re going “at” places.

More Practice:

Need more practice? Here are some worksheets you can try out as extra practice.

Interested in getting all the French grammar modules? Look here.

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