A Celebr “-ATION” of French Nouns

Today’s French concept is quite useful and one of my personal favorites. Now, I don’t advocate for being lazy when it comes to learning a language but I do appreciate a good shortcut to make things easier. Let’s explore how most English “-ATION” nouns convert to French easily (with some minor accent and spelling changes). But that’s not all, folks, because all French “-ATION” nouns are feminine so you don’t have to worry about gender.  Formidable!


  • Most English words ending in “-ATION” convert to French with minimal or no changes in spelling
  • All French nouns ending in “-ATION” are feminine
  • Removing the suffix and replacing it with “-É” gives us the verb in passé composé for most nouns


Remember, although most of these English nouns transition without any changes, some words may need accents and/or letter changes here-and-there.

I’ve provided an example list of French nouns below – let me know if I’ve made any errors and I’m happy to fix them! Following the steps above, read through the list and you’ll notice how the root for the passé composé exists in each word.



An exercise to drill this concept into notre cerveau? Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle:

  • In the 2nd column, write all the French nouns listed above
  • In the 1st column, look at the corresponding noun, replace the suffix and write a simple passé composé phrase:

COLUMN 1                         COLUMN 2

j’ai accusé                              l’accusation
tu as communiqué              la communication
il a créé                                  la création

Don’t forget accents and be mindful of spelling (e.g. the “c” in the communication becomes a “q” in the passé composé)! The point of this exercise is to train ourselves to seamlessly replace the suffix with “-É” for passé composé. By the end of the list, we should see a noticeable difference in how long it takes to convert.


  • Most English words ending in “-ATION” convert to French with minimal or no changes in spelling
  • All French words ending in “-ATION” are feminine
  • Removing the suffix and replacing it with “-É” gives us the verb in passé composé for most nouns

Feel free to look up more English-French words that follow the same sense as the above and the gods of French nouns and passé composé will thank you.

As always, let me know if you have any comments/corrections/feedback below!

M. Matt

English “-OR” to French “-EUR”

Bonjour! In an earlier post, we talked about English “-IST” words and how most of them can onvert into French “-ISTE” words. We also learned that most of those converted words are masculine. Today, we’re going to follow a similar concept by examining how most English words ending with “-OR” will convert into French words that end with “-EUR”. We’ll take a quick look at words that involve people and those that don’t.

Now, there are feminine versions for some of the French words below (e.g. the vendor = la vendeuse). However, we won’t get into that for today. For now, let’s just say that most English words that make this French conversion are masculine. We’ll revisit gender soon enough! For now, let’s keep things as uncomplicated as possible.


Below are examples of “-OR” peeps who become “-EUR” peeps:

  • the senator = le sénateur
  • the doctor = le docteur
  • the director = le directeurDoctor
  • the author = l’auteur
  • the conductor = le conducteur
  • the educator = l’éducateur
  • the vendor = le vendeur
  • the decorator = le décorateur
  • the governor = le gouverneur
  • the narrator = le narrateur

And don’t forget the English words you already know:

  • the amateur = l’amateur
  • the chauffeur = le chauffeur
  • the connoisseur = le connaisseur
  • the entrepreneur = l’entrepreneur
  • the masseur = le masseur
  • the provocateur = le provocateur
  • the saboteur = le saboteur
  • the voyeur = le voyeur (scandale!)


For words that don’t involve people, most of them are feminine and I’ve included some examples below:

  • the color = la couleurRumors
  • the horror = l’horreur
  • the honor = l’honneur
  • the rumor = la rumeur
  • the interior = l’intérieur
  • the exterior = l’extérieur
  • the favor = la faveur
  • the error = l’erreur
  • the inferior = l’inférieur
  • the terror = la terreur


The lists above offer a beginning – many more words exist that apply to each group. If you’d like to search for more words, WordbyLetter.com is a good resource for English suffixes. It might not be the most visually pleasing of sites but it gets the job done. Just type in the suffixes you want to see in the ‘Words Ending With’ field and the words will come-a-flowin’.

As always, feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything or if you’d like to share anything. As a student myself, I appreciate any chance to learn!

À plus tard!

M. Matt

Une Petite Fille With a Story…

Voici une jeune fille adorable.

Cette jeune fille adorable veut vous dire une histoire.

L’histoire que cette jeune fille adorable veut vous dire est tout aussi adorable.

Maybe this is a good way to remember the names of some animals because, let’s face it, cuteness makes me want to remember things. There is a whole lot happening in this story so pay attention because she is NOT going to tell it again.

Totes adorbs.

And don’t you forget it.

English “-IST” to French “-ISTE”

DrinkingCoffeeBienvenue, fellow French learners! My name is Matt and I’m one of Dr. Kerley’s students. Like many of you, I’m learning French and I’ll be blogging regularly about a variety of things – language resources, French concepts, my deepest secrets, and more. Feel free to leave comments below because we can certainly help each other learn. That’s me to the left with a look of hope on my face. Most likely,  this photo was taken after I successfully used l’imparfait and le passé composé in the same sentence. Baby steps, y’all.

Alors, commençons!


Eiffel tower with pink balloonsAlthough memorization can be an effective (and necessary) way of learning a language, it’s also important to learn using larger concepts. These concepts add many words to our vocabulary in a very short amount of time –  bypassing the rote memorization of lists. Why? Because once we know a concept, it can immediately applied.

For today’s example, we’re going to look at words in English that end in “-IST”. Most English words ending in “-IST” can be converted into French by adding an “-E” to the end. Another great aspect? The majority of these French words are masculine!

It’s a two-for-one deal today, folks: not only are we adding a bunch of words to our vocabulary, but we’re learning their gender. We may slip here and there until we learn the gender exceptions but it’s definitely a start. For now, let’s just say that the odds are ever in our favor.

Below are 40 examples of English “-IST” to French “-ISTE” words to get us started:

  • the activist = l’activiste
  • the alarmist = l’alarmiste
  • the antagonist = l’antagoniste
  • the artist = l’artiste
  • the cyclist = le cycliste
  • the biologist =le biologiste
  • the botanist = le botaniste
  • the capitalist = le capitaliste
  • the centrist = le centriste
  • the communist = le communiste
  • the conformist = le conformiste
  • the economist = l’économiste
  • the dentist = le dentiste
  • the dermatologist = le dermatologiste
  • the extremist = l’extrémiste
  • the fascist = le fasciste
  • the feminist = le féministe
  • the finalist = le finaliste
  • the florist = le fleuriste
  • the humorist = l’humoriste
  • the idealist = l’idéaliste
  • the journalist = le journaliste
  • the linguist = le linguiste
  • the materialist = le matérialiste
  • the minimalist = le minimaliste
  • the moralist = le moraliste
  • the nationalist = le nationaliste
  • the nutritionist = le nutritionniste
  • the optimist = l’optimiste
  • the pacifist = le pacifiste
  • the pessimist = le pessimiste
  • the pianist = le pianiste
  • the populist = le populiste
  • the racist = le raciste
  • the realist = le réaliste
  • the socialist = le socialiste
  • the specialist = le spécialiste
  • the stylist = le styliste
  • the terrorist = le terroriste
  • the tourist = le touriste

And JUST when you thought the fun was over, there’s even more. Below are four words that also happen to be French “-ER” verbs. And as we all know – “ER” verbs are always a welcome sight:

  • he exists = Il existe. = EXISTER
  • I insist = J’insiste. = INSISTER
  • She persists = Elle persiste. = PERSISTER
  • One resists = On résiste = RÉSISTER


Wiktionary has a nice list of French words suffixed with “iste” to check out. Also, there is a handy list of English “ist” words arranged by frequency at More Words. Take a look at both lists and generate some of your own combinations. If anything you’ll learn a bunch of fun English words that end in “-IST” that you never knew existed. You know, everyday words like “antivivisectionist”, “dodecaphonist”, and “martyrologist”.

Soon, we’ll take a look at words in English that end in “ion” and the ridiculous amount of words and verbs you can quickly add to your French vocabulary. Good times.

À plus tard!!

M. Matt