Adjectives In French – Part I

Adjectives In French – Part 1: Masculine / Feminine

What is an Adjective? (French adjectives)

An Adjective is a word you add to another one (the noun) to have more information about it, that’s why we call it an Adjective, because it is Added.

The word Book is a noun, to add more information about it we can say ” a green book”, green is the adjective; the same thing for:

– An Old House (Old is the adjective)
– A French Man (French is here an adjective)

Video here:

They can be Masculine or Feminine:

They agree with the noon they are added to, so if the noun in French is masculine, the adjective too.

– A Green Book = un livre vert: livre is masculine so vert too!
– A Green Table = une table verte: table is feminine in French so verte too.

As you can see, the rule to get the feminine form is not difficult, you add a final “e” to the adjective: vert becomes vertes.
of course if the masculine form already ends with an -e, the feminine form is the same: sympathique (masc and fem)

However many adjectives have an irregular feminine form.

Irregular Adjectives:

We have Categories to separate them.

1- Adjectives ending in “eur”:

-Rêveur (dreamy): masculine
-Rêveuse: féminine

so un homme rêveur is a dreamy man and une femme rêveuse, a dreamy woman

2- Adjectives in “L”


Un homme professionnel, une femme professionnelle
Same rule for “personnel”, ‘gentil’…

3- Adjectives in “f”

-Neuf = new

Des livres neufs (new books) , des voitures neuves (new cars, because car in French in feminine) (you also notices here that “des” is the plural of “un” or “une”).

4- Adjectives in “al”

-Génial (great, brilliant) / Géniaux is the plural.
-Géniale / Géniales the plural

Un gars génial (a great guy), des gars géniaux (great guys).

5- Adjectives in “et”

-Complet (full)
-Complète: with a “grace accent” and a final “e”

6- Adjectives in “er”

-Cher (dear, expensive)

Cher Peter (dear Peter), chère Marie, chers amis (dear friends)
Une voiture chère (an expensive car), un livre cher.

7-Adjectives in “c”

-Blanc (white)

Un livre blanc, une voiture blanche.

8- Some adjectives have another irregularity, they change if the noun which they are added to starts with a vowel or a silent “h”:

-New is French has 2 masculine forms: nouveau and nouvel
-Nouvelle is the feminine form

Un nouveau livre but un nouvel ami ( a new boy friend), because “ami” starts with a vowel.

Plural: nouveaux, nouvelles.

-Old has 2 masculine forms: vieux and vieil for the same reason.

Un vieux livre, une vieil ami, une vieille voiture

-Beautiful too: Beau, bel

Un bel arbre ( a nice tree), un beau livre, une belle fille

Plural: beaux, belles.

You noticed that some adjectives can be after the noun, some can be before and other ones can be before or after, there is a rule, see our Part 2

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