All Adjective Endings and Changes

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Okey dokey, here is the more than thorough section on adjective placement and agreement. Adjectives must match the noun that they describe in both number and gender.

1. For regular adjectives, add an e to the adjective if the noun is feminine. If the noun is plural, add an s. If the noun is plural and feminine, add an es.

masculine singular masculine plural feminine singular feminine plural
grand grands grande grandes

2. Certain adjectives change their spelling in the feminine

a. er becomes ère
dernier – dernière
cher – chère
fier – fière

b. eur or eux becomes euse
trompeur – trompeuse
heureux – heureuse
travailleur – travailleuse
menteur – menteuse
joyeux – joyeuse

c. teur becomes trice
protecteur – protectrice
consolateur – consolatrice
créateur – créatrice

*certain adjectives from Latin origin that end in teur (antérieur, postérieur, supérieur, inférieur, intérieur, extérieur, majeur, mineur, et meilleur) only end an e in feminine.

c. f becomes ve
vif – vive
destructif – destructive
neuf – neuve

d. el, il, en, et, on , as, os, sot generally double the consonant and add an e
cruel – cruelle
gentil – gentille
ancien – ancienne
muet – muette
bon – bonne
bas – basse
gros – grosse
sot – sotte
nul – nulle

*certain adjectives that end in et end in ète in feminine
complet – complète
discret – discrète
*the final consonant doesn’t always double (joys of every rule having an exception)
petit – petite
gris – grise

e. g becomes gue in feminine (to protect the hard g sound in the feminine form – if one just adds an e, then the hard g sound becomes the soft ‘je’ sound)
long – longue
oblong – oblongue

f. certain adjectives don’t follow any rule
blanc – blanche
sec – sèche
frais – fraîche
franc – franche
faux – fausse
roux – rousse
fou – folle
beau, bel – belle
nouveau, nouvel – nouvelle
vieux, vieil – vieille
grec – grecque
public – publique
bénin – bénigne
malin – maligne

3. To make an adjective agree with a plural noun

a. normally one adds an s to the adjective

b. if the adjective ends in an s or an x one doesn’t add anything to make it (masculine) plural, for (feminine plural, change to the feminine form and add an s)

c. adjectives that end in au or al change to aux ending (in their masculine forms, again for the feminine forms, change it to feminine and add an s)
nouveau – nouveaux
beau – beaux
municipal – municipaux
tropical – tropicaux
*these 3 adjectives don’t follow that rule
fatal – fatals
final – finals
naval – navals

for other info see these three links

*much of my organization for this post came from Une Fois Pour Toutes, my favorite French grammar resource.

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