This is a nice resource (see "le truc des gendres" at the bottom, too): http://www.fourmilab.ch/francais/glue.html

My best to members who are students of la langue de Molière in their continued good efforts!  Michael

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Thanks for the link Michael..........a very useful list of words!!
Je vous en prie Lynn...it's those "glue" words that trip us up sometimes!  Now if I could finally master the use of "en" and "y"...
"le truc des genres" is the basis of my book, French Nouns: Masculine or Feminine?, used with the kind permission of John Walker. From my own experience of trying to learn these endings as a list, I've used image and colour based memory techniques to make the process easier. Really useful list thanks Michael - Hilary
Thanks for your comment, Hilary!  Please tell me more about the memory techniques you employ - very interesting!  Regarding vocabulary in general, I make flash cards as I can with "mnemonic" visuals that have to do with the word itself, or the sound of the word.

 

Hi Michael,

Below is an extract from the introduction to my book - hope this provides the explanation you're looking for:

"Each word ending is presented on a separate page with the following key principles to help the reader to remember whether the word ending is masculine or feminine.

 

1.               Each word ending is written in blue for masculine words and pink for feminine words.

 

2.               Each page has a tab with the word ending (blue for masculine words, pink for feminine words) so that it can be used like an address book.

 

3.               For masculine words, the page background and tab are blue. For feminine words, they are pink.

 

4.               Each word is accompanied by a memorable drawing of a common item, to connect the word and its ending with either masculine or feminine."

 

Strangely enough, yesterday evening, quite independently, I was thinking about creating flashcards too! I use them frequently with my French students who are learning English - for most people, used appropriately they are an excellent learning method!

 

Best wishes - Hilary

Thank you Hilary!  Simple and effective!

I'm trying something now - translating book reviews and just selecting two or three common words or phrases to put on flash cards - rather than *every* new word I'm not sure about or don't know.  Not so overwhelming that way (read: staying clear of having a method grind to a (temporary) stop).

Have you ever seen the segment on France 2's "En toutes lettres" in which the contestants and celebrity participants have to determine if words are masculine or feminine?  You guessed it - they have a heck of a time, too!  (They have to answer 9 in a row correctly, or the next participant has to start from scratch.)  The show is great for vocabulary.  Merci encore, Michael

Hi Michael,

 

Sounds like a good idea! I tend to try and learn/ teach about 10 things on flashcards at a time - more than that can become overwhelming! Mind you, one of my students is determined to learn the 300+ most common English verbs, so she's got about 40 flashcards, but we work through them five at a time.

 

No TV at the moment Michael, waiting until I can afford to buy and install a satellite dish, necessary here to receive any TV apparently. Have TV, orange box, but no satellite dish. They say patience is a virtue :-). So, no, not seen "En toutes lettres" but understand the difficulty many French people have, even having learned them from the year dot!

 

Bonne continuation et bon courage!! - Hilary (most words ending in ion = F, and age = M)

Hi Hilary,

You can watch episodes of En toutes lettres via the France 2 website.  (Not being in France, I obviously have no access to any programmes except via the Internet.)  It will be nice to have plenty to choose from, though, when the dish is in place!

Here is an interesting article - obviously applies to any language:

http://ezinearticles.com/?German-Words:-How-to-Use-a-Vocabulary-Box...  Maybe it will be helpful to your students!

Now, I'll let you continue the countdown to the New Year (as I type)!  Michael

thanks Michael, will have a look! Countsown done, Happy New year! Going to bed now!

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