FR: mon/ma professeur / ma professeure / ma prof


Senior Member
I am looking at an advertisement for a French language test and it mentions the professor of the university's name and lists her as the "professeure of the university. I always thought that it was "le professeur" and either le or la prof. Is putting the final -e on the end a new fad? Merci!

Moderator note: Multiple threads have been merged to create this one. Please note that this thread is about usage for female professors. If you are interested in the more general topic of the feminization of titles, please see here.
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    I'm not being timid and I am adding my cents worth. We were taught that the word was always 'le professeur.' Only if the teacher was a female would we call her une professeur. I guess lots has evolved since.
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    De mon temps (...) on disait Madame le Professeur, Madame le Ministre, Madame le Maire.... c'était aussi bien comme ça et c'est comme ça que je continue et continuerai à dire, contre vents et marées

    Pouvez-vous me d'aider,s'il vous plait ?

    Can I say " Ma professeure de français " ?

    As far as I know from my french class the word " professeur " is for both masculine & feminine. There is no form of masculine or feminine.

    But I read a thread from this forum , a member said that
    now you can have masculine which is "professeur "
    and feminine as " professeure " .

    Anybody, could you please confirm me whether I understand this correctly.

    merci d'avance
    I've never seen it written "professeure". As far as I know it is always professeur because it is not nouns that agree with gender but adjectives. We denote whether it is a female or masculine by using ma / mon.

    Mon prof = male
    Ma prof = female.
    It's quite recent I think but you can use professeure for a female techer. It's a bit of a barbarism because it should really have been professeuse, but language is all usage of course.

    I have cut the threat that I read about this topic , it is in blue below.

    Elementary school man "instituteur', woman "institutrice"

    For higher level, up to university, a man is "un professeur"and until recently a woman was "un professeur" too.
    Now there is a will in France to distinguish man and woman in their job names. That's why you can see now woman : "une professeure"

    A general term tor teachers is "enseignant" a man is "un enseignant", a woman is "une enseignante"
    No problem with it! "Je suis une enseignante"
    Hope it helps!
    Where did you get this thread from? I thought it was always "Je suis une enseignante". In French, you take out the indefinite article. Is that right?

    D'ou vient ce fil? J'ai toujours pensé que c'était Je suis enseignante. En francais retirons l'article indefini. N'est-ce pas? Est-ce que un natif pourrait me dire?

    P.S N'hésitez pas a corriger mon francais.
    Sorry to bring up an old thread but I was just wondering if in a pamphlet advertising for a yoga class with a female instructor or teacher, is it wise to say Professeur or Professeure or is there a better word for "Instructor" in this sense?

    I would say professeur de yoga. I use "elle est professeur, elle est auteur, elle est maire" and in real life, people are so confused at this point that no-one ever corrects me.

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    Bonsoir! I am a little bit confused about which possessive adjective to use with a masculine noun but referring to a female. For example, […] my professor (female) - ma professeur? […] Is that correct French?

    Thank you for your help
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    i spoke about this with my french lecturer the other day, she said that more recently the feminisation of masculin nouns is becoming more common. although both of them are correct she said that it is preferable to leave them in masculin form.

    maybe a native can be more help!
    Yes, you can say the both, but if you use "ma" you may have to change the noun...This is a bit hard, even for a french.

    I advise you to use "mon", this is easier, and sound more natural ;)
    I'm afraid natives don't know more than you do. The Government decided to change some of the old rules a few years back, to show that men and women really were equals... The result is that even if they issued a list with all the changes, nobody seems to know what to say anymore. Most of us just keep on using the good ol' masculine ones :)

    If you really want to use that , you'll have to write "ma professeure" I think.
    Note that it also depends on where. I believe, for example, that the recommended feminization for "professeur" in France is "une professeur", while in Québec it is "une professeure". Also, in Québec the feminine forms are almost always used in writing when referring to women, although it depends somewhat on which profession (and people are just as confused as in France... A significant number of the "games" on the Banque de dépannage linguistique deal with this issue:
    While I would say "ma prof" I wouldn't say "ma professeur." Is this really a French recommendation?
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    People say "ma prof" everywhere.

    But in Québec, it's "ma professeure"- you get very strange (voire confused) looks if you refer to a female professor as "mon professeur" in Québec...
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    That wasn't my question. You stated that in France "ma professeur" [no "e"] was recommended. My question was: Are you certain? I would never write that.
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    Hello all, :)

    The original question regarded which posessive pronoun to use when referring to a female whose job title is a masculine noun. Thus, if your médecin is a woman, should you say ma or mon médecin?

    The replies so far have indicated that the pronoun gender is not determined by the gender of the person who holds the job. Instead, the pronoun follows the standard rules of French grammar: it is determined by the grammatical gender of the job title.

    The hard part is knowing the grammatical gender of the noun that tells the job title! :p
    There are three possibilities:
    1. the noun has only one gender and does not change as a function of whether the person is a man or a woman.
    2. the noun is allowed to be both genders without changing spelling. You consider it to be feminine when referring to a woman. Pronoun, article and adjective agreement is made accordingly.
    3. a feminine form of the noun has been created, with a different spelling. You use the feminine form to refer to women.
    As Ascoltate has indicated, the option that is accepted and/or most natural can depend on whether you are in France or in Quebec.

    I have retitled this thread to reflect the current discussion of ma professeure vs. ma professeur vs. ma prof. There is a similar discussion on the French Only forum: mon professeur (en parlant d'une femme)

    If you're interested in discussing usage of the feminine form for a different profession title, please open a new thread, assuming there is no existing discussion on that particular profession.

    If you are interested in the feminization of profession titles in general, please refer to one of the existing threads and the links within.
    gender of professions
    Feminine Forms for names of professions and trades...

    General discussion of the topic is welcome, but posts developing a list of profession names will be removed.

    Thanks! :)
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    I agree with geostan.
    I usually say : "ma prof" but never "*ma professeur". If I need to use the entire word, I'd say : "mon professeur de math", "mon professeur de piano" albeit she is a woman.

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    De mon temps (...) on disait Madame le Professeur, Madame le Ministre, Madame le Maire.... c'était aussi bien comme ça et c'est comme ça que je continue et continuerai à dire, contre vents et marées

    Vous avez le droit de continuer à dire comme vous voulez, mais la langue doit trouver un chemin d'exprimer ces professions au féminin parce qu'en français, on n'a pas de neutre. C'est bizarre de continuer à utiliser les formes masculines pour les êtres humains qui sont des femmes.

    En outre, Bernard Cerquiglini, le linguiste célèbre qui fait l'émision Merci professeur pour TV5, donne les raisons pour lesquelles la création des formes au féminin pour les profession est nécessaire et inévitable. Il donne son avis ici :
    Strictly speaking, "professeur" is a masculine word even if it refers to a female.

    This woman is my lecturer => Cette femme est mon professeur (not "ma").

    Note that the word "prof" (which is an abbreviation of professeur used in colloquial speech) does not follow this rule, it is feminine if it refers to a female person

    The lecturer is beautiful" => La prof est belle (not "Le prof est beau", which is what you would say if you referred to a male teacher).

    Now, there is a tendency in French right now that leads politically correct people to add an "e" to certain words to make them feminine (e.g. la professeure). However, this spelling, to my knowledge, is not officially approved by anyone (at least not yet).

    So in the meantime, I'd stick with "Le professeur" :)
    Is it always "un/le professeur" regardless of gender?
    Since I'm a woman, can't I refer to myself as une/la professeur?
    Yes you can....

    But it should be "Je suis une professeur" since the French don't use "a/an" in front of professions.That will mean "I am a Professor".

    And "Je suis la professeur anglais" - "I am the english professor".

    These days there's a tendency to use the feminine gender for job titles involving a woman.

    However, some people (women too!) would still prefer to use the masculine.
    So I guess it's first of all a matter of personal choice (I prefer using the proper genders)

    I am writing an essay and in that essay I am reffering to my teacher who is a female. Do I need to use the masculine form "mon professeur" or do I have to change it to "ma professeure"? I know that traditionally they use the masculine ones, but I'm confused since recently some masculin nouns have been feminised. Today, would it be alright to use "mon professeur" to reffer to a female?

    For example:

    "J’aime parler français avec mon professeur."


    "J’aime parler français avec ma professeure." :confused:

    Merci. :)
    The word "professeure", a feminine noun, has become part of modern French but remains far from ubiquitous.


    It can't be said that professeur falls into the same category of exclusively masculine nouns as, say, "médecin".
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    I had a question concerning adjective use. When using 'mon professeur' for a female teacher, would you still say 'mon professeur est gentil'? Or could you change the adjective to a feminine - 'mon professeur est gentille'? Merci beaucoup!
    My instinct is to use the masculine form of the adjective. But if I were to refer to a female teacher with a new sentence, I would say Elle est...

    As far as I'm concerned, colloquially I would say ma prof/mon prof. I could write ma professeure but never ma professeur. Nevertheless I would probably write mon professeur de xxx whether she/he be a female or a male one.

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    Ok, so if you can say 'j'ai une nouvelle professeur de français', can you also say Elle est une bonne prof? Or C'est une bonne prof? 'C'est un bon prof' feels better to me but doesn't square with the previous.

    Merci bien
    Hi, I need your help. Look at this question:

    "Le professeur est sévère?"

    A possible answer is "Non, il n'est pas sévère". But could I also say "Non , elle n'est pas sévère?".

    I have a problem with pronouns here, and the problem is caused by the word "le professeur" ....

    Thank you!

    Yes, you would be right if using "(le / la) professeur". Also some are now using "la professeure", this still hasn't been ackowledged by the French Academy. It might be in the future but, as far as I know, it is still not the case at the moment.

    The spoken language has an easy way of solving this: As a student myself, I rermember we would just shorten the name to "(le / la) prof", which therefore did not raise any obvious inconsistency!
    Thank you snarkhunter, as the question in the exercise was "Le professeur est sévère?", I suppose the only possible answer is then "il, n'est pas sévère". Am I correct?
    Thank you snarkhunter, as the question in the exercise was "Le professeur est sévère?", I suppose the only possible answer is then "il, n'est pas sévère". Am I correct?
    If the teacher is female, then I guess most people would just reply: Non, elle ne l'est pas. But Non, il ne l'est pas would be definitely correct as well.