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Learning the French Adjectives is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. The more you master it the more you get closer to mastering the French language. But first we need to know what the role of Adjectives is in the structure of the grammar in French.
An adjective is any of a class of words used to modify a noun or other substantive, as by describing qualities of the entity denoted, stating its limits or quantity, or distinguishing it from others. In French, adjectives agree in number and gender with the noun or pronoun that they modify. Consequently, they possess four different forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, feminine plural.
In general, the feminine singular is formed simply by adding an –e to the end of the basic masculine form. So, for example, petit becomes petite, abondant becomes abondante, grand becomes grande, and joli becomes jolie, vrai becomes vraie, and pointu becomes pointue.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, already ends in an –e, then there is no change. So, for example, aimable remains aimable, pâle remains pâle, rouge remains rouge, jaune remains jaune, pauvre remains pauvre, brave remains brave, jeune remains jeune, and malade remains malade.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –on or –ien, then the feminine singular is formed by doubling the final consonant and adding an –e. So, for example, bon becomes bonne, and ancien becomes ancienne.
Likewise, if the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –el, –ul or –eil, then the feminine singular is formed by doubling the final consonant and adding an –e. So, for example, cruel becomes cruelle, nul becomes nulle, and pareil becomes pareille.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –er, then the feminine singular is formed by converting the –e that precedes the –r to an –è and adding an –e to the end of the word. So, for example, cher becomes chère, dernier becomes dernière, fier become fière, and léger becomes légère.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –f, then the feminine singular is formed by changing the –f to a –ve. So, for example, neuf becomes neuve, vif becomes vive, naïf becomes naïve, actif becomes active, passif becomes passive, and positif becomes positive.
However, there are exceptions. For example, bref becomes brève.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –et, then the feminine singular is formed by doubling the final consonant and adding an –e. So, for example, coquet becomes coquette, muet becomes muette, and net becomes nette.
However, this is not always the case. Certain adjectives in this category follow a different declension, in which the –et is changed to an –ète. Examples include: complet→ complète; incomplet→ incomplète; concret→ concrète; désuet→ désuète; discret→ discrète; inquiet→ inquiète; secret→secrète.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –ot, then the feminine singular is formed by adding an –e. So, for example, idiot becomes idiote.
Here again, there are exceptions: pâlot→ pâlotte; sot→ sotte; vieillot→ vieillotte.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –x, then the feminine singular is formed by changing the –x to an –se. So, for example, nerveux becomes nerveuse, heureux becomes heureuse, sérieux becomes sérieuse, and jaloux becomes jalouse. However, there are exceptions: doux→ douce; faux→ fausse; roux→ rousse;
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in an –s, then the feminine singular is formed by adding an –e. So, for example, gris becomes grise.
Needless to say, there are exceptions: bas→ basse; gras→ grasse; épais→ épaisse; frais→ fraîche.
If the adjective, in its basic masculine form, ends in a –c, then the feminine singular is formed by changing the –c to a –che. So, for example, franc becomes franche, and blanc becomes blanche.
Exceptions exist: sec→ sèche; public→ publique; turc→ turque; grec→ grecque; chic→ chic.
Here are some more examples:
|English Adjectives||French Adjectives|
|a green tree||un arbre vert|
|a tall building||un grand bâtiment|
|a very old man||un très vieil homme|
|the old red house||la vieille maison rouge|
|a very nice friend||un ami très gentil|
Notice the structure of the Adjectives in French has a logical pattern. Locate the Adjectives above and see how it works with the rest of the sentence in French.
Below is a list of the Adjectives, Colors, Shapes, Sizes in French placed in a table. Memorizing this table will help you add very useful and important words to your French vocabulary.
|English Adjectives||French Adjectives|
Position of Adjectives
In general, adjectives follow the noun or nouns that they serve to modify.
There are, however, exceptions: beau, bon, court, gentil, grand, gros, haut, jeune, joli, long, mauvais, méchant, meilleur, moindre, petit, pire, vieux, and vilain.
Some adjectives possess a different meaning depending on their position. Here is a brief list of examples:
Adjectives, Colors, Shapes, Sizes have a very important role in French. Once you're done with French Adjectives, you might want to check the rest of our French lessons here: Learn French. Don't forget to bookmark this page.
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