LEÇON 4 / Intermediate
THE PLURAL AND THE FEMININE OF ADJECTIVES
The plural and the feminine forms of adjectives are very similar to the plural and feminine forms of nouns.
HOW DO YOU FORM THE PLURAL OF ADJECTIVES?
Most plural adjectives are like most plural nouns: you form them by adding an “s” to the end of the singular form.
petit petits (small)
amusant amusants (amusing)
stupide stupides (stupid)
However, there are several exceptions to this rule:
1. Adjectives ending in “-s” or “-x” do not change in the plural form.
français français (French)
gris gris (grey)
vieux vieux (old)
2. Adjectives ending in “-al” in the singular end in “-aux” in the plural.
international internationaux (international)
normal normaux (normal)
HOW DO YOU FORM THE FEMININE OF ADJECTIVES?
Most feminine adjectives are like most feminine nouns: you form them by adding an “e” to the end of the masculine form.
grand grande (big)
intelligent intelligente (intelligent)
joli jolie (pretty)
Once again, there are several exceptions to this rule:
1. Masculine adjectives ending in “-e” do not change in the feminine form.
facile facile (easy)
jeune jeune (young)
However, masculine adjectives ending in “-é” add an “e” like all other regular adjectives.
fatigué fatiguée (tired)
âgé âgée (aged)
2. Masculine adjectives ending in “-x” change to “-se” in the feminine form.
nerveux nerveuse (nervous)
heureux heureuse (happy)
3. Masculine adjectives ending in “-f” change to “-ve” in the feminine form.
naïf naïve (naive)
neuf neuve (new)
4. Masculine adjectives ending in “-er” change to “-ère” in the feminine form.
premier première (first)
étranger étrangère (foreign)
5. Most masculine adjectives ending in “-l” or “-n” double the final consonant before an “-e” in the feminine form
italien italienne (Italian)
cruel cruelle (cruel)
bon bonne (good)
américain américaine; spécial spéciale
6. These masculine adjectives have an irregular feminine form that must be memorized.
beau belle (beautiful) frais fraîche (fresh)
blanc blanche (white) long longue (long)
doux douce (soft) nouveau nouvelle (new)
fou folle (crazy) vieux vieille (old)
To form the feminine plural of these adjectives, add an “s” to the feminine singular.
blanche blanches normale normales
longue longues nouvelle nouvelles
A FEW SPECIAL FORMS FOR MASCULINE ADJECTIVES
“Beau,” “vieux,” “nouveau” become “bel,” “vieil,” “nouvel” in front of singular, masculine nouns starting with a vowel or an “h.” You may have noticed that most other adjectives follow the nouns they describe.
un beau cheval a pretty horse
un bel arbre a pretty tree
un bel hôpital a pretty hospital
un vieux pont an old bridge
un vieil homme an old man
les vieux hommes the old men
de beaux arbres beautiful trees