French Adjectives - Adjectifs. All about French adjectives
LEARNING IT THE EASY WAY
This learning guide is divided into different parts
with a quick recap after each topic.
FRENCH VS. ENGLISH ADJECTIVES
HOW TO MAKE FRENCH ADJECTIVES “AGREE”
WHERE TO PLACE FRENCH ADJECTIVES IN A SENTENCE
COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES (and what this means)
WHAT ARE DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES?
WHAT ARE POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES?
WHAT ARE INDEFINITE ADJECTIVES?
QUICK EXERCISES ON ADJECTIVES
1. FRENCH VS. ENGLISH ADJECTIVES
While both French and English adjectives operate the same
are a few key differences between the two, and these are:
When to change the adjectives, and
Their placement in a sentence.
A quick recap of the first topic:
Adjectives are words which describe a subject and it
answers the question: what kind of..?
The main difference between English and French
The changes in form. English adjectives change only when used
to compare while French adjectives have to “agree” with the
word it is describing according to its gender and quantity.
The placement in a sentence. French adjectives are usually
placed AFTER the noun, while English adjectives come BEFORE
2. HOW TO MAKE FRENCH ADJECTIVES “AGREE”
Here are the basic rules you should remember when it comes to making adjectives
• The main form of French adjectives (like how they appear in dictionary
entries) is the masculine singular form.
• In most cases, you only need to add a suffix or ending to change the
adjective into its feminine form.
A quick recap of the second topic:
The basic rule in changing a masculine adjective into its feminine form is
simply to add an -e in its ending. If t already ends in -e, you usually do not
need to add another one.
A lot of adjectives that end in a consonant can be changed to feminine by
doubling the consonant and adding an -e towards the end.
Some irregular masculine adjectives have another set of masculine forms
which is used when describing words that begin with a vowel or h.
To change an adjective into its plural form, the basic rule is to add an -s. But if
it already ends in -s or -x, no additional suffix is needed.
For adjectives that end in -eau or -al, the plural form is -eaux or -aux.
A few adjectives never changes their form no matter what kind of noun they
3. WHERE TO PLACE FRENCH ADJECTIVES IN A SENTENCE
The most important rules for you to take note of are the following:
Most of the time, the adjectives appear immediately AFTER the noun they
are describing. This is true to regular adjectives as well as those related to
colors, shapes ans nationalities.
There are, however, some adjectives that appear BEFORE a noun.
A quick recap of the third topic:
There are four kinds of adjectives in French based on where they appear in
Adjectives that come AFTER the subject they are describing – this is the most
A small group of adjectives that come BEFORE the subject.
Another small group of adjectives could come BEFORE or AFTER the noun, but the
meaning changes depending on where it is placed; and
The last group – adjectives that could be placed either BEFORE or AFTER and their
meanings won't change.
Multiple adjectives can be connected using et which means and in English.
4. COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES
(and what this means)
Before we talk about the French comparatives and superlatives, let's do
a quick review of what it means in the English language.
Comparative adjectives: These are adjectives that usually end in -er or has
the word 'more' or 'less' before it.
Superlative adjectives: These are adjectives that end with the suffix -est or
has the word 'most' or 'least' before it.
A quick recap of the fourth topic:
The words plus and moins are used to denote comparisons just like how we
use 'more' and 'less' in English.
To change an adjective into its superlative form, le/la/les plus or le/la/les
moins are used, and these are dependent on the gender and quantity of the
subject being described.
Irregular comparatives and superlatives do not follow these rules.
5. WHAT ARE DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES?
Demonstrative adjectives are used to point out something.
These are the words: this, that, these, and those. (e.g., this
pen, that tumbler, these paintings, and those flowers.)
A quick recap of the fifth topic:
• The adjective ce covers the entirety of the demonstrative
adjectives in French. But as with any other french adjectives, it
changes its form to agree with the noun.
• Additional suffixes such as -ci and -là are used to indicate the
distance of the object to the speaker.
6. WHAT ARE POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES?
Tips for possessive adjectives:
• Possessive adjectives always come BEFORE the noun.
• Possessive adjectives “agree” not with the owner of the item
being used in the sentence, but with the item itself.
• The word 'your' is ton/ta/tes in French.
• In French, possessive adjectives are not used to point out
body parts. Le, la l' or les are being used instead.
A quick recap of the sixth topic:
• A table is provided to map out the possessive adjectives in
French. These vary depending on gender and quantity (if
plural or singular)
• Possessive adjectives are placed BEFORE the noun.
7. WHAT ARE INDEFINITE ADJECTIVES?
These are used to talk about the subject in a general way,
not saying who or what exactly it is.
Examples of indefinite adjectives in English are:
several, many, all, most, every, some, a few, and so on.
Please take note of the following:
• Indefinite adjectives are placed BEFORE the noun.
• These words are also often used as stand-alone
pronouns to replace the adjective and noun.
8. QUICK EXERCISES ON ADJECTIVES
Let us practice saying a few French adjectives first. The meanings
are also included, and this list should help widen your French vocabulary.
premier, premiere (f.)
secret, secrète (f.)
• the ones marked with (f.) refer to the feminine form of the adjective.
• The italicized letters in the pronunciation guide are meant to be
pronounced with a nasal sound.
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