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I Will Teach You A Language | Weekly Motivation and Language Learning Tips to Help You Become Fluent in Any Language

Learning a new language? Get your language learning questions answered by polyglot Olly Richards, who speaks 8 languages and runs the popular blog - I Will Teach You A Language. Whatever's holding you back on the path to fluency, tune in twice a week to get your regular dose of language learning motivation, with Olly and other polyglot guests, such as Luca Lampariello, Richard Simcott, Alex Rawlings, Benny Lewis, Anthony Metivier and Jonathan Levi. Learn Spanish, Learn French, Learn German, Learn Italian, Learn Portuguese, Learn Arabic, Learn Japanese, Learn Chinese
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jun 2, 2017

Ali asks: "How do you remember the gender of nouns?"

Episode Summary:

  • Unfortunately, noun genders just have to be remembered
  • At first it seems like an impossible task, but keep going, and you will start to know instinctively which is which
  • You will inevitably make some mistakes, but you will be forgiven!
  • If you use mnemonics, try creating some way of visualising the gender of the word
  • In practice, you can guess the gender of many words using generalised rules (see below)
  • Interestingly, the gender of words can vary between romance languages. For example, "planet": la planète (Fr), el planeta (Es)

Examples in French, taken from the French Your Way site: The following words are generally masculine:

  • Nouns ending in “_sme” Example : le communisme, le capitalisme, le marasme
  • Nouns ending in « _et » Examples : un ticket, un garçonnet
  • Nouns ending in « _euil » Example : le cerfeuil (chervil), un écureuil, un fauteuil, un cerceuil (coffin)

The following words are generally feminine:

  • Nouns ending in « _tié” Examples: une amitié, la moitié, la pitié
  • Nouns ending in « _ée » Examples: la journée, la soirée, une vallée, une fée (= fairy) Exceptions: words rerived from Greek, such as: le musée, le trophée, un scarabée, un lycée
  • Nouns ending in “_tte” Examples : une bouillotte (a warm water bottle), une fourchette, une maisonnette, une fillette Exception :un squelette

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode:

 

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