Using adjectives

Agreement of adjectives

In French, adjectives agree with the noun, which means that they are masculine, feminine, singular or plural to match the noun.

Regular adjectives

A lot of adjectives follow this pattern:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Grand Grande Grands Grandes
Intelligent Intelligente Intelligents Intelligentes
Fort Forte Forts Fortes
Allemand Allemande Allemands Allemandes

Adjectives that end in –u, -i, -é follow this pattern, but although the spelling changes, they don’t sound any different when you say them:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Bleu Bleue Bleus Bleues
Joli Jolie Jolis Jolies
Fatigué Fatiguée Fatigués Fatiguées
Âgé Âgée Âgés Âgées

Adjectives that already end in –e (with no accent) have no different feminine form:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Jaune Jaune Jaunes Jaunes
Mince Mince Minces Minces
Jeune Jeune Jeunes Jeunes

Adjectives that already end in –s have no different masculine plural form:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Français Française Français Françaises

Adjectives that end in –er follow this pattern:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Cher Chère Chers Chères
Premier Première Premiers Premières

Adjectives that end in –eux follow this pattern:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Délicieux Délicieuse Délicieux Délicieuses
Merveilleux Merveilleuse Merveilleux Merveilleuses

Some adjectives double the last letter before adding an –e for the feminine form:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Gentil Gentille Gentils Gentilles
Mignon Mignonne Mignons Mignonnes
Gros Grosse Gros Grosses
Bon Bonne Bons Bonnes
Irregular adjectives

Many common adjectives are irregular and you need to learn each one separately:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Blanc Blanche Blancs Blanches
Long Longue Longs Longues
Vieux (Vieil) Vieille Vieux Vieilles
Nouveau (Nouvel) Nouvelle Nouveaux Nouvelles
Beau (Bel) Belle Beaux Belles

(Vieil, nouvel and bel are used before masculine nouns that begin with a vowel.)

A few adjectives do not change at all:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Masculine plural Feminine plural
Marron Marron Marron Marron

Position of adjectives

Adjectives normally follow the noun:

Some common adjectives go before the noun. The most common ones are grand, petit, bon, mauvais, beau, jeune, vieux, joli, gros, premier.

C’est un petit garçon.Il prend le premier train pour Paris.

N.B. All colours and adjectives describing nationality follow the noun.