Nouveau vs Neuf: New in French



Nouveau and Neuf means New with a difference:

1- DEFINITION:

Nouveau is for things that are new for the owner, also the latest in a series.
Neuf means brand new, out of the factory…

So, something neuf is also nouveau, but something nouveau is not all the time neuf!

Here is the video: Click

2- EXAMPLES

You may have a new car which is a second hand one, so in French we use here “nouveau”: une nouvelle voiture, but a car you have just bought from the factory is “une voiture neuve”.

As you can see, the masculine forms are nouveau and nouvel, the feminine nouvelle et the plural: nouveaux and nouvelles. Neuf is masculine, neuve is feminine, neufs and neuves are the plural forms.

Nouveau is usually before the noon (sometimes after in a conversation), neuf is always after it:

-J’ai un nouvel ordinateur (or j’ai un ordinateur nouveau)
-J’ai un ordinateur neuf!

Nouveau is also used to translate the latest thing of a series:

J’ai reçu le nouveau magazine (I received the new magazine), this magazine is brand new, out of the printing press but it is the latest number of a series, you received today the number 4 and already received the previous ones, so here we use “nouveau”:

J’ai reçu le nouveau magazine.

3- EXERCISES:

I bought a new flat:

J’ai acheté un nouvel appartement or J’ai acheté un appartement neuf (it depends on the context)

My book is new:

Mon livre est nouveau or mon livre est neuf!

4- EXPRESSIONS:

What’s up? Quoi de neuf or quoi de nouveau, here nouveau or neuf are interchangeable.

Nothing new! Rien de neuf or rien de nouveau!

Once again: une nouvelle fois

Can you say it once again? Pouvez-vous le dire une nouvelle fois?

De nouveau means again:

Je veux lire de nouveau ce livre I want to read this book again, we can also say relire in French: je veux relire ce livre!

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