French Adjectives

French adjectives – Les adjectifs français

Let’s start with understanding what an adjective is and what its function is. An adjective modifies a noun and sometimes a pronoun. Its main function is to provide information regarding the size, shape, color etc. It’s a very important part of the speech as it can change drastically the context of the phrase.

In English adjectives are put before the noun and your job is done. Whereas in French, you have to do a couple of “manipulations”. First of all, the placement of adjectives varies. It changes depending on the nouns but also context. Second, adjectives change depending on the nouns gender and number. It seems tricky at first but we’re here to help you.

Adjective position

Most adjectives in French language are placed after the noun they describe:

un chien noir black dog
des filles tristes sad girls


Remember that adjectives that describe color, taste, nationality, personality or mood are placed after the noun.

Here’s some more examples :

une echarpe blanche a white scarf
un garçon gentil a nice boy
des touristes Allemands German tourists
une sauce salée a salty sauce


However, as always there are exceptions. There are adjectives that are placed before the noun and they usually belong to the BANGS group.

Beauty une jolie dame a beautiful lady
Age un vieil homme an old man
Number deux pommes two apples
Goodness une bonne histoire a good story
Size des grands bâtiments big buildings

Gender and quantity agreement

As mentioned earlier, you have to be aware of gender and quantity agreement rules. For the most common adjectives you would just add an e for the feminine, an s for masculine plural and an es for feminine plural.
This is the easiest rule that you can follow in most cases:

grand grande grands grandes great/tall/ big
petit petite petits petites small
bleu bleue bleus bleues blue


Please check the spreadsheet with all the possible endings and the changes you have to make

French Adjectives

You will sometimes encounter adjectives that end with consonants like s, n or l when in masculine form. Well, don’t worry, the feminine form will just end with that double consonant and an e while the plural form will end with an s:

bon bonne bons bonnes good
gentil gentille gentils gentilles nice/kind
gros grosse gros grosses fat

Irregular French adjectives

Irregular French adjectives are those that don’t follow the common rules, the exceptions.
We decided to show you three most reoccurring examples :

nouveau nouvel nouvelle nouveaux nouvelles new
beau bel belle beaux belles beautiful
vieux vieil vieille vieux  vieilles old 


*Why is there another masculine form, you’d ask? It’s quite easy. The adjectives “beau” and “nouveau” become “bel” and “nouvel” before masculine nouns starting with a vowel or a silent “h”.

And that’s that. These are the basic and simple rules to follow with French adjectives so you don’t waste your precious time on learning everything by heart.


To know more about French Verbs, click HERE.

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