Adjectives in French

Adjectives in French change form to agree with the person or thing that they describe. They change according to gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural), so adjectives can have four forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, and feminine plural.

Regular Adjectives

With most adjectives in French, you just add –e to the masculine singular to form the feminine singular. And then you add –s to both of those to form the plurals: –, -e, -s, -es.

big, tall singular plural
masculine grand grands
feminine grande grandes


little, short singular plural
masculine petit petits
feminine petite petites


interesting singular plural
masculine intéressant intéressants
feminine intéressante intéressantes


American singular plural
masculine américain américains
feminine américaine américaines


You probably know that a lot of final consonants in French are silent. So, petit ends in the sound –ee as in see. The -t isn’t pronounced at all, kind of like puh-TEE. But when you add the –e to make it feminine, that –e activates the –t, and you get puh-TEET.

And since the final –s is silent, the plurals are pronounced just like the singulars. Masculine petit and petits are both puh-TEE, and feminine petite and petites are both puh-TEET.

That doesn’t mean that you never pronounce the –s ending, though. French has liaison, which links the last consonant (otherwise silent) of one word to the next word if that next word begins in a vowel. Les petits enfants (the little kids) is lay puh-tee zah(n)-fah(n). The -s of petits is tacked onto the beginning of enfants. (The transliteration is very approximate! It’s hard to represent sounds from one language in the spelling system of another.)

Adjectives ending in -e

If an adjective already ends in –e in the masculine singular, don’t add another. So adjectives like malade (sick) and drôle (funny) just have two forms.

sick singular plural
masculine malade malades
feminine malade malades


funny singular plural
masculine drôle drôles
feminine drôle drôles


The ending –é is not the same as –e. Here, you add –e for the feminine.

tired singular plural
masculine fatigué fatigués
feminine fatiguée fatiguées


stressed singular plural
masculine stressé stressés
feminine stressée stressées


Adjectives ending in -s

If the adjective already ends in –s in the masculine singular, as is the case with a lot of nationalities, there’s no need to add another –s in the masculine plural.

French singular plural
masculine français français
feminine française françaises


Japanese singular plural
masculine japonais japonais
feminine japonaise japonaises


Doubled consonants

Some adjectives in French double the final consonant before adding –e in the feminine forms. You’ll see this pattern in adjectives that end in –el, –eil, –en, –il, –on, –ul, –et and –s in the masculine singular.

nice singular plural
masculine gentil gentils
feminine gentille gentilles


Canadian singular plural
masculine canadien canadiens
feminine canadienne canadiennes


fat, big singular plural
masculine gros gros
feminine grosse grosses


good singular plural
masculine bon bons
feminine bonne bonnes


the same singular plural
masculine pareil pareils
feminine pareille pareilles


ancient, former singular plural
masculine ancien anciens
feminine ancienne anciennes


Adjectives ending in –eux

The ending –eux changes to –euse in the feminine. Don’t add –s to -x in the masculine plural.

ancient, former singular plural
masculine heureux heureux
feminine heureuse heureuses


delicious singular plural
masculine délicieux délicieux
feminine délicieuse délicieuses


Test Yourself 1
1. Marc, es-tu _____ ? fatigué, fatiguée, fatigués, fatiguées
2. Rita, es-tu _____ ? stressé, stressée, stressés, stressées
3. Marc et Robert, êtes-vous _____ ? désolé, désolée, désolés, désolées
4. Rita et Hiroko sont _____. grand, grande, grands, grandes
5. Pauline est très _____. petit, petite, petits, petites
6. Mes amis sont _____. drôle, drôles
7. Monsieur et Madame Tricoire sont _____. français, française, françaises
8. Céline est _____. canadien, canadienne, canadiens, canadiennes


Irregular Adjectives

Some very common adjectives in French are irregular. You’ll recognize some of the patterns from above, for example –x as a plural ending, and –e/-es and doubled consonants in the feminine forms.

beautiful singular plural
masculine beau beaux
feminine belle belles


new singular plural
masculine nouveau nouveaux
feminine nouvelle nouvelles


old singular plural
masculine vieux vieux
feminine vieille vieilles


Looking for more information on adjectives in French? Check out this part two post.

Test Yourself 2
  1. Les fromages [french] sont très [good].
  2. La tarte est [delicious].
  3. Mon téléphone n’est pas [new].
  4. Est-ce que la bière est [good] ?
  5. Martine et Sophie sont [sick].
  6. La professeur est une [old] femme.
  7. Est-ce que les vins sont [French] ou [Italian] ?
  8. Michelle est [nice] et [intelligent].
  9. Paris est [big] et [beautiful].
  10. Les étudiants sont [intelligent].
  11. La nuit est [beautiful].
  12. Ton copain est [funny].
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Answers 1
1. Marc, es-tu fatigué ? Marc, are you tired?
2. Rita, es-tu stressée ? Rita, are you stressed?
3. Marc et Robert, êtes-vous désolés ? Marc and Robert, are you sorry?
4. Rita et Hiroko sont grandes. Rita and Hiroko are tall.
5. Pauline est très petite. Pauline is very short.
6. Mes amis sont drôles. My friends are funny.
7. Monsieur et Madame Tricoire sont français. Mr. and Mrs. Tricoire are French.
8. Céline est canadienne. Céline is Canadian.


Answers 2
1. Les fromages français sont très bons. French cheeses are very good.
2. La tarte est délicieuse. The pie is delicious.
3. Mon téléphone n’est pas nouveau. My phone is not new.
4. Est-ce que la bière est bonne ? Is the beer good?
5. Martine et Sophie sont malades. Marine and Sophie are sick.
6. La professeur est une vieille femme. The teacher is an old woman.
7. Est-ce que les vins sont français ou italiens ? Are the wines French or Italian?
8. Michelle est gentille et intelligente. Michelle is nice and intelligent.
9. Paris est grand et beau. Paris is big and beautiful.
10. Les étudiants sont intelligents. The students are intelligent.
11. La nuit est belle. The night is beautiful.
12. Ton copain est drôle. Your boyfriend is funny.


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2 responses to “Adjectives in French

    1. Merci! Yes, the basics are in this post, but there are a few more types as well as the matter of position before or after the noun. We’re working on part 2, thanks!

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