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.


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 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 5:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.