do you refer to animals as who or what? In English we refer to animals as it how do you do it in french

sameer

Kwiziq community member

29 November 2018

1 reply

do you refer to animals as who or what? In English we refer to animals as it how do you do it in french

This question relates to:
French lesson "Qu'est-ce que c'est... and Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça/cela ? = What is... / What's that?"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 November 2018

29/11/18

Quite often there are different nouns for male and female animals. For instance:

un chat - une chatte
un chien - une chienne
un oiseau - une oiselle
un cheval - une jument
un taureau - une vache
un coq - une poule
un merle - une merlette
un lapin - une lapine

If you're unsure of the gender you use the male version, normally.

Some animal names only come in a male of female version, for example: la souris. Here the grammatical gender wins:

J'ai une souris blanche, elle s'appelle Auguste, c'est un mâle.
J'ai un hamster noir, il s'appelle Louise, c'est une femelle.

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