French Adjectives 2 Plurals

coffee-cream

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 !

 

postcard-paris
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)

French Adjectives 1

mont-st-michel

It’s really important to master well the French adjectives as they are a lot different from the English ones for example. The French adjectives reflect the gender and the number of the noun(s) they describe. The French adjective can be either masculine, feminine, singular or plural. It seems like a lot but it is not that hard. Besides there are some simple rules that apply and the truth is that even the French sometimes confuse the correct forms of their adjectives. Here are the rules:

Adding “-e” to the adjective

Gender: Masculine or Feminine. Masculin ou féminin in French. The general rule is to add an “-e ” to the masculine adjective.

Exemple:

Masculine Feminine
  • Julien est grand et intelligent.*
  • Ce film est joli.
  • Il est marié
  • Un véhicule rouge**
  • Joanna est grande et intelligente.
  • Cette histoire est jolie.
  • Elle est mariée
  • Une voiture rouge

* When the masculine adjectives end on “-t “, “-d “, “-s “, normally you don’t pronounce these letters. It changes however when you add the “-e ” in the feminine form.

** If the masculine adjective ends in “-e “, nothing changes.

Doubled consonant

Sometimes the last consonant is doubled in the feminine form of the adjective:

Masculine Feminine
  • Il est mignon
  • Un livre ancien
  • Un pont bas
  • Elle est mignonne
  • Une histoire ancienne
  • Une voitre basse

 

Adjectives ending in “-x “

The masculine adjectives ending in “-x “ become “-se “ in the feminine.

Masculine Feminine
  • courageux
  • curieux
  • sérieux

but !

  • rêveur
  • menteur
  • sportif
  • courageuse
  • curieuse
  • sérieuse

 

  • rêveuse
  • menteuse
  • sportive

Strange cases

Masculine Feminine
  • Un beau* livre
  • Un gentil* garçon
  • Un vieux* moulin
  • Un drapeau blanc
  • Une belle histoire
  • Une gentille fille
  • Une vieille maison
  • La maison blanche

The placement of the French adjectives

In general, the French adjectives come after the noun they describe, unlike the English adjectives.

There are exceptions* of course. Some of the examples autre, haut, petit, vieux, grand, faux, beau

  • De l’autre côté de la rue
  • Un très haut bâtiment
  • Une petite rue
  • Des faux amis
Eiffel Tower Painting
Eiffel Tower Painting

Exercises

Exercise 1:

 

Exercise 2: 

 

Exercise 3: 

In this exercise you need to chose which adjectives describe best the given painting. You need to chose between the positive and negative terms.

French Nationalities

France-nationalities

Knowing the names of different nationalities (les nationalités) will not only allow you to tell something about yourself but also it will help you to get to know better the person you are talking to, especially if he/she is a foreigner.

Things to remember:

  • As with majority of the French adjectives, there is a masculine and feminine form for most of the names of nationalities. All you need to do is to add an "-e" to the masculine form.  Eg. français / française

    • Most of the time it will change the pronunciation  français / française (z) but there are some exceptions where it stays the same: Eg. espagnol / espagnole
    • If the name of the adjective of nationality ends with "-e", the word stays the same. Eg. Paul est suisse. / Marie est suisse
  • The names of nationalities in French are written in small letters, unlike in the English language !

Names of Nationalities in French: 

French French feminine English
français française French
anglais anglaise English
sénégalais sénégalaise Senegalese
marocain marocaine Moroccan
allemand allemande German
russe russe Russian
américain américaine American
espagnol espagnole Spanish
suédois suédoise Swedish
britannique britannique British
écossaise écossaise Scottish

Names of the Countries 

You may also want to learn the names of the countries in French that go with the names of these nationalities. Have a look at this lesson. 

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3