REPRISE DE GRAMMAIRE

DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVES

Words that modifie nouns or pronouns are called adjectives. If these adjectives describe the nouns they modify, they are called descriptive or qualitative adjectives. In French, descriptive adjectives agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. This is not the case in English.
 
How do you change an adjective from the masculine singular to the feminine singular?
 

 
 
Masculine singular
Feminine singular
froissé froissée
lent lente
   
 
Change
Masculine singular
Feminine singular
x-------> se ambitieux ambitieuse
er-----> ère cher chère
f------> ve lucratif lucrative
c------> que public publique
g------> gue long longue
eur----> euse (if adjective is based on 
                      the present participle)
travailleur travailleuse
eur----> rice  (if adjective is not based 
                      on the present participle)
destructeur destructrice
eur---->eure antérieur 
postérieur 
intérieur 
extérieur 
mineur 
majeur  
supérieur  
inférieur 
meilleur
antérieure  
postérieure  
intérieure  
extérieure  
mineure  
majeure 
supérieure  
inférieure  
meilleure
double the consonant + e professionnel 
pareil 
ancien 
gras 
gros 
coquet
professionnelle 
pareille 
ancienne 
grasse 
grosse 
coquette
et------>ète complet 
concret 
discret 
inquiet 
secret
complète 
concrète 
discrète 
inquiète 
secrète
   
 
Masculine singular
Feminine singular
beau belle
blanc blanche
bon bonne
doux douce
favori favorite
faux fausse
fou folle
frais fraîche
franc franche
gentil gentille
malin maligne
mou molle
nouveau nouvelle
sec sèche
vieux vieille
   
beau bel
fou fol
mou mol
nouveau nouvel
vieux vieil
 
These adjectives, however, only have one form in the masculine plural.
 

How do you change a singular adjective into a plural adjective?
 

   
 
change
masculine singular
masculine plural
x (no change) paresseux paresseux
s (no change) gris gris
eau------->eaux nouveau nouveaux
al--------->aux moral moraux
al--------->als banal 
fatal 
final 
naval
banals 
fatals 
finals 
navals
  Where should you place the adjective?

After the noun

In English, descriptive adjectives are placed in front of the noun they modify.  In French, they are usually placed after the noun they modify.
 

Adjectives of color, religion, nationality, and class, however, are almost always placed after the noun. Remember that adjectives of nationality are not capitalized in French.

Before the noun
 

 
autre beau bon grand gros
haut jeune joli long mauvais
nouveau petit premier vieux vilain
     
 
un ancien professeur 
a former professor
une maison ancienne 
an old (or ancient) house
un brave homme 
a (morally) good man
un capitaine brave 
a courageous captain
une certaine brillance              une certaine personne 
a degree of brilliance            an unspecified person
un résultat certain 
a sure result
son cher mari 
her dear husband
une voiture chère 
an expensive car
le même moment 
the same moment
le moment même 
the very moment (emphatic)
la pauvre femme 
the poor (unfortunate) woman
la femme pauvre 
the poor woman (not rich)
sa propre chambre 
his/her own room
une chambre propre 
a clean room
une simple remarque 
a mere remark
une personne simple 
a simple person (plain, simple-minded)
la seule réponse 
the only answer
un enfant seul 
a child alone (by himself)
le dernier film 
the last film (in a series)
le mois dernier 
last month (the one just passed)
la prochaine question 
the next question (in a series)
la semaine prochaine 
next week (the one coming)
  What do you do when two adjectives describe the same noun?
      You may juxtapose two adjectives if the first adjective describes a word group composed of the second adjective and the noun.  You may then place both adjectives in their normal position before or after the noun.
   

Agreement of Adjectives

French adjectives generally agree in number (singular, plural) and gender (masculine, feminine) with the noun or pronoun they describe.

EXCEPTION: The adjective demi is invariable and joined to the noun by a hyphen when it precedes the noun. it agrees, however, in gender with the noun when it comes after.

An adjective that describes more than one noun is plural.  If the gender of the nouns is different, the masculine plural form of the adjective is used.  If both nouns are of the same gender, the adjective is, of course, in that gender.