1. Education

Agreement of Irregular French Adjectives

Accord des adjectifs irréguliers


Lesson | Quiz

Most French adjectives are regular, but there are a number of irregular adjectives, based on the final letter(s) of the masculine singular adjective.

Adjectives that end in a vowel plus L or N usually become feminine by doubling the consonant before adding E.

Ending: el > elle   Adjective: personnel (personal)
   Masculine singular   personnel
   Feminine singular   personnelle
   Masculine plural   personnels
   Feminine plural   personnelles

Ending: on > onne   Adjective: bon (good)
   Masculine singular   bon
   Feminine singular   bonne
   Masculine plural   bons
   Feminine plural   bonnes

Adjectives that end in er or et need a grave accent:

Ending: er > ère   Adjective: cher (expensive)
   Masculine singular   cher
   Feminine singular   chère
   Masculine plural   chers
   Feminine plural   chères

Ending: et > ète   Adjective: complet (full)
   Masculine singular   complet
   Feminine singular   complète
   Masculine plural   complets
   Feminine plural   complètes

Other final letters lead to very irregular feminine endings:

Ending: c > che   Adjective: blanc (white)
   Masculine singular   blanc
   Feminine singular   blanche
   Masculine plural   blancs
   Feminine plural   blanches

Ending: eur > euse   Adjective: flatteur (flattering)
   Masculine singular   flatteur
   Feminine singular   flatteuse
   Masculine plural   flatteurs
   Feminine plural   flatteuses

Ending: eux > euse   Adjective: heureux (happy)
   Masculine singular   heureux
   Feminine singular   heureuse
   Masculine plural   heureux
   Feminine plural   heureuses

Ending: f > ve   Adjective: neuf (new)
   Masculine singular   neuf
   Feminine singular   neuve
   Masculine plural   neufs
   Feminine plural   neuves

Irregular plurals: The ending al changes to aux in the plural:

Adjective: idéal (ideal)
   Masculine singular   idéal
   Feminine singular   idéale
   Masculine plural   idéaux
   Feminine plural   idéales

Note: Most of the above rules are the same for making nouns feminine and plural.

Irregular French adjectives

There are several French adjectives which have irregular feminine and plural forms, as well as a special form when they are placed in front of a masculine noun that begins with a vowel or a mute H:

   un bel homme - a handsome man
   un vieil ami - an old friend

 Singular Plural
Adjective   masc vowel/H    fem masc fem
beautiful  beau bel belle beaux belles
new nouveau    nouvel  nouvelle    nouveaux    nouvelles
crazy fou fol folle fous folles
soft mou mol molle mous molles
old vieux vieil vieille vieux vieilles
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. French Language
  4. French Grammar
  5. Adjectives
  6. Agreement of Irregular French Adjectives

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.