French Adjectives


French adjective are words employed to modify a noun by describing it in some way. In French, as opposed to English, adjectives are inflicted –they vary- according to the number and/or gender of the noun that they are accompanying.

Examples:



FRENCH ENGLISH
Femme sophistiquée.
Sophisticated woman.
Adjective «;sophisticated;» inflicted by the gender of the noun (feminine).
Homme sophistiqué
Sophisticated man.
Adjective «;sophisticated;» inflicted by the gender of the noun (masculine).
Les femmes sophistiquées.
Sophisticated women.
Adjective «;sophisticated;» inflicted by the gender and number of the noun (feminine/plural).
Les hommes sophistiqués.
Sophisticated men.
Adjective «;sophisticated;» inflicted by the gender and number of the noun (masculine/plural).


Additionally, French adjectives can be placed before OR after the nouns they’re modifying, the latter case being the most common, in terms of OBJECTIVE DESCRIPTION, and the former restricted to the use of adjectives that describe beauty, age, goodness/badness, and size.

Examples:
 

FRENCH ENGLISH
La musique baroque (Baroque music) General adjective (placed AFTER the noun).
Étudiant responsable (Responsible student) General adjective (placed AFTER the noun).
Voiture noire (Black car) General adjective (placed AFTER the noun).
La littérature allemande (German literature) General adjective (placed AFTER the noun).
Beau jardin (Beautiful garden) Beauty-describing adjective (placed BEFORE the noun).
Vieil arbre (Old tree) Age-describing adjective (placed BEFORE the noun).
Bon chien (Good dog) Goodness/badness-describing adjective (placed BEFORE the noun).
Longue route (Long road) Size-describing adjective (placed BEFORE the noun).


The position of the adjective is always BEFORE the noun when the first is making a rather SUBJECTIVE DESCRIPTION.

Example:
 

FRENCH ENGLISH
Un grand pays (A great country) Subjective description (adjective placed BEFORE noun).
Un pays grand (A big country) Objective description (adjective placed AFTER noun).;


The majority of French adjectives change by adding an "E" to their masculine singular form in order for it to become feminine, and "S" or "ES" for it to become plural (masculine and feminine, respectively).

Examples:


FRENCH ENGLISH
Petit chien.--->Small dog. Basic masculine singular form of the adjective
(« Petit »).
Petite maison.--->Small house. Basic masculine singular form of the adjective
(« Petit ») + « E », transforming it into feminine.
Les petits chiens Basic masculine singular form of the adjective
(« Petit ») + « S » transforming it into plural (masculine).
De petites maisons Basic masculine singular form of the adjective
(« Petit ») + « ES » transforming it into plural (feminine).


Adjectives which basic (masculine singular) form finishes in the letter "E" (without a stress mark) do not change in order to become feminine.

Examples:

  • Homme modeste (Modest man).
  • Femme modeste (Modest woman).
  • Les hommes modestes (Modest men).
  • Les femmes modestes (Modest women).

Adjectives which basic (masculine singular) form finishes in "el", "il", "on", "en", "os", "as", double their final consonant before adding the necessary suffixes to transform themselves into feminine (singular and plural).

Examples:
 

FRENCH ENGLISH
Gentil (Kind) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective.
Gentille (Kind) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective + final consonant doubled + « E » (to become feminine).
Gentilles (Kind) asic masculine singular form of the adjective + final consonant doubled + « ES » (to become feminine plural).
Australien (Australian) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective.
Australienne (Australian) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective + final consonant doubled + « E » (to become feminine).
Australiens (Australian) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective +
« S » (to become masculine plural).
Australiennes (Australian) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective + final consonant doubled + « ES » (to become feminine plural).


Adjectives which basic (masculine singular) form finishes in the diagraphs "er" or "et", adopt a grave accent (`) in their last vowel before taking up any suffixes.

Examples:
 

FRENCH ENGLISH
Léger (Light) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective.
Légerè (Light) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective + final consonant doubled + « E » (to become feminine).
Légers (Light) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective + « S » (to become masculine plural).
Légerès (Light) Basic masculine singular form of the adjective + final consonant doubled + « ES » (to become feminine plural).

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