In English a noun form of the doer of a verb is usually formed by '-er' sound, e.g. run - runner, teach - teacher, sell - seller. Then the noun form of the action of the verb is usually the '-ing' form, e.g. teach - teaching, run - running, sell - selling. Is there a comparative way to construct noun from of French verbs?

P.S. I'm not a native speaker of English or French.

1 Answer 1


The usual doer suffixes are -eur/-euse, -(a)teur/-(a)trice and -ant/ante. There is more variation with the associated action nouns suffixes, including -ement, -ation, -age and the lack of suffix.

  • Chanter -> Chanteur -> Chant

  • Courir -> Coureur -> Course

  • Dessiner -> Dessinateur -> Dessin

  • Enseigner -> Enseignant -> Enseignement

  • Former -> Formateur -> Formation

  • Imprimer -> Imprimeur -> Impression

  • Raffiner -> Raffineur -> Raffinage

  • Vendre -> Vendeur -> Vente

  • Why (a)reuse? The usual pair seems to be (at)eur/(at)rice. As for actions, -age are quite common : brosser->brossage.
    – GAM PUB
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:32
  • @GAMPUB I didn't wrote (a)reuse but (a)teuse. The latter is indeed almost nonexistent, I only found the rare "mateuse". I agree -age is common, answer updated to list it .
    – jlliagre
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:57
  • '@jlliagre sorry about the (a)teuse typo. My actual point was that I could see any example. Your mateuse is an-eur/-euse instance just like chanteur/chanteuse.
    – GAM PUB
    Jun 16, 2015 at 5:55

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