French Adjectives 2 Plurals

The French adjectives can also have a plural form which can also be masculine or feminine. Here are the rules that you need to apply:

Adding ” -s” to the adjective

They agree in number and gender, as usual. Normally, all you need to do is to add ” s” to the adjective in the singular.

Singular Plural
Masculine un étudiant américain des étudiants américains
Feminine une étudiante américaine des étudiantes américaines

The “-x” or “-s” at the End

If the adjective ends in “-x “  or “-s “ its plural form stays the same. The same goes for the plural feminine forms.

Singular Plural
un choix malheureux

! une femme malheureuse

des choix malheureux

! des femmes malheureuses

un immeuble bas des immeubles bas
un homme jaloux des hommes jaloux

 

Adjectives with “-al”

If the adjectives ends in “-al ”, it becomes “-aux” in plural.

Singular Plural
Masculine un livre original des livres originaux
un cas normal des cas normaux
un cas social des cas sociaux
! Feminine ! une histoire originale ! des histoires originales
une école normale des écoles normales

 

Adjectives with “-eau”

Adjectives ending in “-eau” become “-eaux”. You just add “-x “ to “eau”

Singular Plural
Cet home est beau Ces hommes sont beaux
un livre nouveau des livres nouveaux

If there are mixed masculine and feminine nouns, the plural masculine adjective is used:

  • Les filles et les garçons espagnols

Personal Pronoun Agreement

The French adjectives need to agree with the personal pronoun they describe:

“Je”, “tu”, “vous” and the polite “vous”:

  • Êtes-vous américain, Monsieur ? Non, Je suis canadien.
  • Êtes-vous allemands, Messieurs ? Non, on est italiens.
  • Vous êtes italienne, Madame ? Non, je suis française.
  • Êtes-vous italiennes, Mesdames ? Non, nous sommes françaises.
  • Elle est très belle, Marie !
  • Tu es très beau, Franck.

My Advice

The French adjectives may seem like a complicated thing. No wonder, they are ! But don’t be discouraged by their many rules and complexity. In real life you will use only a certain number of them, many of them regular (that is you will naturally apply the rules seen above as, for example, with the adjectives ending in “-al”) and bear in mind that even the French get confused with their adjectives, let alone someone who is learning the French language ! The best way to master this and any other structure is to repeat it in a number of meaningful exercises, like the ones that you have below. Don’t do them just once, do them several times over a few days until using the correct form becomes almost automatic for you. Good luck !

 

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postcard-paris

Exercises

Exercise 1: Check your knowledge and understanding of the lesson

 

Exercise 2: Practical use of the given grammatical structure (i.e. in real life situations)

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