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Adjectives in French. Les adjectifs en français. Floyd College Sheila McCoy. Adjectives in French are mirrors: they reflect the nouns they

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adjectives in french

Adjectives in French

Les adjectifs en français

Floyd College

Sheila McCoy


Adjectives in French are mirrors: they reflect the nouns they

describe, or modify in gender and number. In French, unlike in English, they usually follow the noun they modify. Specialized adjectives called articles--le, la, l’, les, un, une, des, d’--always precede the noun they modify, however. So…

Un garçoncontent

Une fille contente

Des fillescontentes

Des garçons contents


The regular adjectives add -e to the base masculine form if it ends in consonant to form the feminine:

Un garçon brun

Une fille brune

They add -s to the singular to form the plural:

Des garçonsbruns

Des filles brunes


There are numerous irregular adjective forms in French as well.

Adjectives whose singular masculine form end in -iendouble the -n before adding -e:

Le garçon canadien

La fille canadienne

Adjectives whose singular masculine form ends in -eux change the -x to -s and then add -e to form the feminine singular:

La fille heureuse

Le garçon heureux


Adjectives whose singular masculine form ends in -é

add an unaccented -e to form the singular feminine:

La fille réservée

Le garçon réservé

Adjectives whose singular masculine form ends in -il double

the -l and add -e to form the feminine:

La fille gentille

Le garçon gentil


Although most descriptive adjectives follow the noun that

they modify,some have come more usually to precede the noun:

bon(bonne), mauvais, grand, petit,joli, jeune, vrai

Un bon garçon

Une bonne fille

Most shifts in position simply change emphasis, not meaning but some changes in meaning accompany certain shifts in position:

Un garçon grand

Un grand garçon

( a great boy)

(a tall boy)


If an adjective changes meaning according to its position

in relation to the noun, it usually has its more literal meaning

when after the noun and its more figurative meaning if

before the noun:

Un homme pauvre


A poor man (financially)

A poor man (pitiful)

Un pauvre homme


An ancient friend

Une amie ancienne



Une ancienneamie

A former friend


The adjective petit is a bit more complicated :

Un petit ami

Une petite amie

(a girlfriend)

(a boyfriend)

Une amie petite

Un ami petit

(a small friend)

(a small friend)

Then with things :

Un petit ordinateur

Une petite bicyclette

(a little computer)

(a little bicycle)


Sometimes if adjectives precede the nouns they modify,they cause other changes:

Des > de or d’ before a plural adjective in front of

the noun:


De petites filles

D’autres choses

De bons livres


If more than one adjective modifies a noun, you may connect them with et:

Une jeune fille heureuseetsympathique

Un jeune homme patient etpoli


Remember the most important aspect of adjectives

is that they must equal their noun in gender and







N= noun

Adj= adjective

Y= singular or plural

X=masculine or feminine


If you were in the Louvre, where would

you be?

What would you be doing?

(for answer visit url below)