Nouveau vs Neuf: New in French

Nouveau and Neuf means New with a difference:


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:


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.


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!


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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