FR: Paris - genre (masculin / féminin)

Kokoro

New Member
Vietnamese - Vietnam
Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one.
This thread is about Paris.
If you would like to know the gender in general, please see FR: genre des villes - gender of towns and cities.
If you would like to ask the gender of a specific city or town, please search the forum for existing threads. If you don't find what you need, you may open a new thread to ask about that specific city.


Hi all,

I know that in French, there's no article before names of cities (the exceptions are La Hague, Le Mans.....), but yesterday I came across an article in a local newspaper, part of which can be cited like this:

"Depuis plus de dix siècles, l'histore de la France s'est construite à Paris, ville des bords de Seine. Le Paris des Rois puis de la République a longtemps affirmé son pouvoir sur la province et cultivé un centralism historique et culturel..."

(In the same article)
"Fière de son passé et ambitieuse pour l'avenir, Paris veut en effet résolument cultiver le sens de la rencontre avec ses visiteurs et offrir une réelle dimension d'accueil à ses résidents étrangers. (Cela veut dire Paris est un nom féminin, non?)

So, I'm totally confused! Le or la with Paris, and in which cases?

And with the other cities?

Can anyone help me? Thank you very much.
 
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  • Izta

    Member
    Español México
    Hi Kokoro,
    I think that in the case of Le Paris de Rois, the article is used to emphasize that is the Paris of that age, is like in English: The City of Kings. In the case of the other sentence: Fiere de son passe et ambitieuse.. Here, the adjectives are in femenine because they are talking about la ville de Paris.

    If anyone else have another explanation, please let me know!

    Izta
     

    1234dom

    Senior Member
    Nice :thumbsup:
    PS Le Paris is not surprising for me but ambitieuse I think I would use ambitieux but perhaps I am wrong for that :). Anyway "the adjectives are in femenine because they are talking about la ville de Paris" : is right.
     

    KaRiNe_Fr

    Senior Member
    Français, French - France
    :D But, don't forget that:
    "Pariiiiiis, c'est une blonde
    Qui plaît à tout le monde,
    Le nez retroussé, l'air moqueur
    Les yeux toujours rieurs
    [...]
    "Ca, c'est Paris !" (Padilla, Peraly, Lucien Boyer, Charles) chantée par Mistinguett en 1927.

    Edit : Eh eh Milhas, même référence. ;)
     
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    CARNESECCHI

    Senior Member
    French / France
    Hello
    Paris, Londres, Berlin, Rome, Moscou, Venise, chacune a sa personnalité.
    Mais
    Le Paris de la guerre

    [...]
     
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    zold

    New Member
    France - français
    hello!
    The sentence "Paris est beau" sounds strange, we rather say "Paris est une belle ville", or why not "Paris, c'est beau";
    and as Outsider says, you can always use feminine for the towns, "la ville de..." implied;
    i hope it helped you! :) Bye
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    I had a look on the net, and the only belief I've got is that... there's no rule!

    My first idea was that cities, contrary to countries, were all feminine. But according to this site, among many others, that's not true.
    If you google "Paris est beau", you'll get more hits than with "Paris est belle".
    On the other hand, a city like Le Havre, which name sounds clearly masculine, is sometimes said feminine : Au Havre, blessée pour la France mais vivante ! et qui sera grande ! (Ch. de Gaulle).

    As a conclusion, I'd say that using feminine is probably the more cautious option.
     
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    zold

    New Member
    France - français
    What about Paris est beau/belle en cette saison?
    You would say that ? it still sounds strange to me; I would rather say "C'est beau, Paris, en cette saison" ou "Paris, c'est beau en cette saison"
     

    Skutnikid

    New Member
    English - American
    I know I've heard this before (I think :confused:) but is there some name for Paris that has either Le or La at the beginning? Thanks
     

    Skutnikid

    New Member
    English - American
    While that is correct, what I'm thinking of is something like "Le Paris". Is that real? I have seen it before but maybe it was made up...
     

    asteroide

    Senior Member
    France - français
    Le Paris d'il y a 50 ans n'est pas le même que celui d'aujourd'hui

    Dans le Paris que je connais, les gens ne sont pas très agréables

    L'action de ce film se situe dans le Paris des années 50
    (meaning: not only "in Paris in the 50's", but rather put the accent on the particular atmosphere that characterised Paris in the 50's)

    Il me semble qu'on peut dire tout ça. On doit pouvoir trouver d'autres exemple.
     

    IanCurtis80

    New Member
    English
    Hi all,

    I'm writing out the phrase 'Paris est livré à une spéculation immobilière totale.'

    However, I'm unsure whether it is 'est livré' or 'est livrée' as I am unsure to the gender of Paris. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     

    quinoa

    Senior Member
    french
    Paris est masculin.
    Voir De Gaulle : "Paris brisé ! Paris martyrisé ! Paris libéré !"
    Et le film : "Paris, brûle-t-il?"
     

    yuechu

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I think most cities are feminine in French, right? Is Paris always masculine or can it be feminine as well?
    Merci d'avance !
     

    dasubergeek

    Senior Member
    English - US; French - CH
    In Lyon, the urban area (which includes suburbs like Villeurbanne, Vénissieux, Caluire-et-Cuire, etc.) is called Le Grand Lyon. But I have never heard the same be said of "le Grand Paris", usually you would hear "la région parisienne", which would include Paris intra muros and its suburbs.
     

    J.F. de TROYES

    Senior Member
    francais-France
    I'm writing out the phrase 'Paris est livré à une spéculation immobilière totale.'
    However, I'm unsure whether it is 'est livré' or 'est livrée' as I am unsure to the gender of Paris.
    Unhesitatingly I would opt for the masculine. I think it is mostly used and the fact that the feminine article or possessive ( Mon vieux Paris ) is strictly impossible ( *Ma vieille Paris ??? ) shows that the noun is basically masculine, even though the feminine can be found either in adjectives agreeing in the context with the word ville and not with Paris or for a poetical purpose, the city being often compared to a woman.
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    If an article is included, it is usually masculine (e.g., le Paris des années 20, un Paris pluvieux). Otherwise both genders are possible and I wouldn't say that the masculine is more frequent than the feminine. Quite the opposite as ville is very often implied!

    Paris est livré(e) à une spéculation immobilière totale.

    This applies not only to adjectives and past participles, but also to pronouns referring to Paris:

    Paris la nuit, la nuit à Paris. On n’explique pas son mystère, sa beauté ou le sentiment de liberté qu’elle dégage. Paris est amour, elle ne s’explique pas. Parce que oui, Paris est femme (Mélanie Delaroche Curtil).
    Paris ne s'endort pas. Elle est léthargique (Arthur Levassor, Minuit intime).​

    But:

    Paris brûle-t-il ? (novel by Dominique Lapierre & Larry Collins)
    Paris est inexpugnable ; il ne peut être pris ni surpris (speech of Gambetta in Tours, 1870).​

    This sometimes even leads to gender mixing, which is bad practice:

    Paris est convaincu qu'elle ne peut échapper à ce test politique de la reconnaissance (article in the Huffington Post, 10 November 2014).​

    Anyway, genders of cities used to be always feminine. According to Grevisse (Le Bon Usage, § 472):
    Les noms de villes sont masculins dans l’usage parlé, mais souvent féminins dans la langue écrite, surtout littéraire.
    Historique 2 : Les noms de villes étaient fém. jadis : De joiaux, de richesses toute Paris resplent (Adenet le Roi, Berte, 266, éd. Holmes). — Fut Lanchon destruite (Jean d’Outremeuse, éd. G., p. 235).
    On pose parfois en règle que ces noms sont féminins seulement quand ils se terminent par un e muet. Cette finale favorise le féminin, sans doute, mais les écrivains le choisissent aussi dans d’autres cas.
    […] Amsterdam endormie (Camus, Chute, Pl., p. 1548). […] — Paris est traversée de parfums d’arbres (Nourissier, Allemande, p. 180). — Arras et Amiens étaient prises (Cabanis, Profondes années, p. 157). — Montreuil s’est bâtie autour de l’abbaye (Grand dict. enc. Lar., t. VII, p. 7089). Etc.
     

    dasubergeek

    Senior Member
    English - US; French - CH
    But also masculine in constructions like Châtelet est à éviter, le tout Paris y change de train.
     
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