I have started to learn French, and so far it works quite well, but today one thing caught my eye, and I am not able to figure out why it is like it is. My problem is related to the following two sentences, first:

Quel est ton numéro de téléphone?


Quelle est ton adresse?

Actually it's two questions I have about this:

  1. Why is it one time quel and one time quelle? Is this related to the gender of téléphone and adresse? If so, why is it ton adresse, but une adresse email? Or does the ton follow the gender of the recipient?

  2. When do you use ton and when do you use ta? Is this related to the gender of the speaker, or of the recipient?

Regarding question number 2, what makes me wonder is that it's ma chérie if you are talking to a female, but mon chéri if talking to a male, but on the other hand it's mon amour if talking to a female and to a man. So to me it seems, as if sometimes if would be adjusted, but sometimes not. Why is this?

  • 2
    Users are required to ask one question at a time. Your question number 2 already has an answer here. If you need the answer to be translated into English, just ping someone who answered it.
    – None
    Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 15:45

3 Answers 3


1/ Gender agreement : "quel" is considered to be a pronoun here, a "pronom interrogatif"; as "numéro" is a masculine singular noun and that the masculine form of this pronoun is "quel" you say "quel est…". Notice that "quel" is also an "adjectif interrogatif" (Quel numéro avez-vous ? (not a question for asking telephone numbers this one)).
As "quelle" is the feminine singular pronoun and "adresse" is a feminine singular noun you must say "quelle est…"
There are two other forms, the plural ones : "quels" and "quelles".

  • Quels sont vos numéros de téléphone ?
  • Quelles sont vos adresses ?

2/ The agreement for the "adjectif possessif" is made according to gender and number with the noun that it modifies, not the recipient. The correspondences are found in the table below (due to bonjour France).

                                enter image description here

The second part of your question is answered, as you've probably noticed already, by the red coloured text.

  • Pierre a dit « J'ai pris mon image dans cette pile.».

We say

Quelle est ton adresse

Because adresse starts with a vowel, so as to ease the prononciation (ta adresse is kind of hard to say) we say ton adresse.

Here are some other examples :

Not starting with a vowel : Ta table, ta place, ta famille, ...

Starting with a vowel : Ton orange, ton araignée, ton utopie, ...

Be careful of some exceptions such as ton histoire, because here the h is silent.

  • 2
    Small addition: une histoire => ton histoire because the h is silent, but une hache => ta hache because the h is not silent (which doesn't change anything for the way you pronounce the word itself, we never pronounce a h).
    – Destal
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:26
  • 1
    But this rule with vowels/consonants is only for female words, isn‘t it? For male words it‘s always ton, right?
    – Golo Roden
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 22:35
  • @GoloRoden Yes exactly Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 9:09
  • Très bien, merci beaucoup ☺️
    – Golo Roden
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 14:01

For your last question about mon amour, since LPH already answered the other points: it's just that this word doesn't have a feminine version, like most of French nouns if you think about it: une table, un ordinateur, un amour. If you want to call your male friend a "table" for any reason, it's not going to change the gender of the word.

It's not the same as using mon before a feminine word when it starts with a vowel.

Un ami, un chéri => mon ami, mon chéri (male)

Une amie, une chérie => mon amie, ma chérie (female)

Un amour => mon amour (male and female)

Other "pet names" examples that have only one version : mon cœur, ma moitié, ma puce, mon canard...

As a side note, amour becomes feminine when plural: mes amours perdues, it's an exception.

  • "Amour" can be féminine in plural form: "de belles amours" (like "aigle" and "orgue").
    – wazoox
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 7:43
  • @wazoox Yes, as stated at the end of my post.
    – Destal
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 8:35
  • But for "aigle" it's different it seems, when it's for the bird it can be masculine for the males and feminine for the females, both in singular and plural form. But there is the the case where it's only feminine, when it's for the armorial bearings (both in singular and plural).
    – Destal
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 8:51

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