French common nouns
What is common noun in French ?
A common noun (French: le nom commun) is a word that makes it possible to designate a thing, an animal, a person in a global way. It is always written in lower case and has precise meanings. Common nouns are often accompanied by a determinant: un, une, des, le, la, les etc...
List of common French nouns
Here is an overview of French common nouns along them you can find:
- abstract common nouns
- concrete common nouns
- compound common nouns
|Noms abstraits||Noms concrets||Noms composés|
|La joie (joy)||La classe (the classroom)||Un chien-loup (a German shepherd)|
|La tristesse (sadness)||La famille (the family)||Un arc-en-ciel (a rainbow)|
|L'amitié (friendship)||Le troupeau (the gaggle)||Une pomme de terre (a potato)|
|Le bonheur (happiness)||La meute (the pack)||L'après-midi (the afternoon)|
|Le début (the beginning)||La forêt (the forest)||Un porte-bagage (a rack)|
|La fin (the end)||La vaisselle (the washing)||Le garde-manger (a larder)|
A concrete common noun designates a person, thing or animal that we can see or touch.
An abstract common noun designates a person, thing or animal that we cannot see or touch.
How to use French common nouns ?
As explained previously in the table, there are different categories of common nouns that can be used to express different meanings:
- Abstract nouns designates an idea, a concept.
- Concrete nouns designates persons, a group or a compound noun
|concept||le pardon (forgiveness)||-|
|persons||-||la soeur (the sister)|
|group||-||la famille (the family)|
|compound noun||-||la belle soeur (the sister-in-law)|
Particularities and exceptions
In some cases, the common noun does not have a determinant:
1. In some nominal groups
La plage de sable noir. (The beach of black sand)
2. In some enumerations
Il y a tant de personnes ici: cousins, frères et oncles ! (There are so many people here: cousins, brothers and uncles)
3. In some proverbs
Pierre qui roule n'amasse pas mousse. (A rolling stone gathers no moss)
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