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)
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.
We have Categories to separate them.
1- Adjectives ending in “eur”:
-Rêveur (dreamy): masculine
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”
-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”
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.