Do city names have gender?

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Kwiziq community member

3 December 2017

3 replies

Do city names have gender?

According to the lesson below, you have to use de/du depending on a country's gender. Is it the same for cities?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Je viens de + [city] = I'm from + [city]"


Kwiziq community member

4 December 2017


Bonsoir Vernon, Yes, city names have a gender. which is covered in a different lesson at the A1 level; here is that lesson link: Using 'à' (to/in) and 'de' (from/of) with cities (prepositions) J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )


Kwiziq language super star

15 March 2018


Hi Vernon,

Although you don't need to worry about the gender of most towns or cities in the expression , 'Venir de', as in the case of single word places it will always be

Je viens de Paris, je viens de Londres, je viens d'Amsterdam, je viens de Nice ...

In the case of towns which use an article in their name it will be,

je viens du Havre (because the town is Le Havre )

Je viens de La Rochelle ( because the town is La Rochelle)  

je viens des Sables d'Olonne ( the town is Les Sables d'Olonne) etc...

When you start talking about towns and cities or describing them you will need to use a gender and some will be feminine or masculine. Some will have an article in front of them like, La Havane , La RochelleLe Creusot which will determine whether they are feminine or masculine. Some will have an adjective in their name like, Mantes-la-Jolie which will indicate their gender. But in the majority of single word cases, there are no rules to indicate whether a city or town is masculine or feminine except when you use the adjectives 'vieux', 'grand', 'nouveau' or 'tout' in front of  them which  will always be masculine in this case, e.g. Le Vieux Nice, le grand Bruxelles, le nouveau Belleville, Le tout-Paris...

Hope this helps!



Kwiziq community member

18 March 2018


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