welcome to the forum. I hope you really enjoy learning French with Rocket French. Getting used to the concept of nouns having a gender can be quiet confusing to start with. But it could be worse. German has THREE different genders, so luckily French has only two.
Here is an explanation of genders from the second Rocket French grammar lesson:
Gender definition is at the heart of French communication. This is what
gives the language balance and harmony as you learn to speak it and write
it. The concept of gender can feel confusing for new students of the French
language. Having a gender does not mean that nouns actually refer to male
or female things, although, in most circumstances, the nouns that refer to
males (such as a male doctor or a male animal) are masculine, while nouns
that refer to females are generally feminine (such as a female doctor or
In many situations, you will be able to distinguish between masculine and
feminine nouns by the distinctive association to a gender. For example, the
sun tends to be associated with masculine imagery, and in French we find
that its gender is also masculine: le soleil. The moon tends to be
associated with feminine imagery, and, in French, it is feminine: la lune.
In this Lesson Plan, there will be repeated clues to help you understand this
concept better with word endings and the short words used before the
noun, known as the article the in English and Le and La in French.
? Le = masculine article, the, e.g. Le soleil.
? La = feminine article, the, e.g. La lune.
It is important to note that without le in front of soleil, and la in
front of lune, the words are incomplete and incorrect!
You may find it impossible to figure out the gender of other nouns, however.
For example, how would anyone know whether a table or a cup is
masculine or feminine? (La table and la tasse are both feminine.)
You wont be able to figure out the gender of most nouns from their English
equivalents. Once you know the word in French, however, youll be able to
figure out the gender by becoming familiar with its sound and where it fits
in the rhythm of a sentence.
In everyday conversation and communication, we use nouns all the time.
As we continue to talk about nouns in French, its useful to talk about both
living things and abstract things so that we can understand the concept of
As mentioned previously, the article (the) before a noun in French is not
only an integral part of the root word, but is also a major clue to the gender
of the word. In other words, as you learn new words, you will always be
learning them with either a Le in front, as in Le soleil, the sun, or a
La in front, as in La lune, the moon. This will help you to begin
categorizing genders as you build your conversation skills.
? As a general guide, groups of words termed masculine often end with
a consonant, and groups of words termed feminine often end with the
vowel e. Note that there are plenty of exceptions to this guideline!
? Le is always in front of a masculine noun, and La is always in front of
a feminine noun, unless the noun is a plural, or the noun begins with a
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any further questions