In English, I refer to my date as Cheesecake.

In French, cheesecake is gâteau au fromage (or cheesecake, both seem to be correct). However both of those are masculine nouns.

Does proper French syntax say to change it to ma gâteau au fromage or keep it at mon gâteau au fromage even though I am referring to a woman?

  • 1
    Keep the gender of the word: mon gâteau. In general grammatical gender trumps physical gender – Luke Sawczak May 21 '18 at 22:31

It is

Mon gâteau, ton gâteau, son gâteau, etc,

whether one refers to a man or a woman. Because gâteau is a masculine noun.

The accord of the possessif adjective is made with the object in French and not the owner (contrary to the English rule).

As further examples victime, vedette, personne, sentinelle are feminine nouns whether one refers to a man or a woman. So, we would use:

Ma vedette, sa victime, etc,

no matter if we talk about a man or a woman.

Attention with some particular cases (related to your question) which may cause confusion.

Mon cher ami - Ma chère amie (My dear friend).

Mon chéri - Ma chérie (nearly equivalently to My darling).

**EDIT* (thanks @LaurentS)

In this context, mon amour is probably the best example.

  • with this context, "Mon amour" is probably the best example – Laurent S. Oct 26 '18 at 12:01
  • @LaurentS. Je viens d'éditer la réponse. Merci. – dimitris Oct 26 '18 at 12:05

The correct answer is "mon gâteau". You must accord "mon/ma" with the gender of the word, not yours.

We say "Mon gâteau", "mon chien", "ma chaise", "ma voiture", etc. regardless of your gender.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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