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The feminine of adjectives



What is an adjective?


To recap, an adjective is a word that accompanies a noun (a name) to give it precision and with which it agrees in gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural). A noun can be accompanied by several adjectives.


Examples: un grand chapeau ("grand" is an adjective, "un chapeau" is a noun): a big hat


Une petite maison blanche ("petite" is an adjective, "une maison" is a noun, "blanche" is an adjective).


The agreement of adjectives


If you want to speak French correctly, it is therefore essential to know whether the nouns you use are masculine or feminine, but also to know the feminine of adjectives!



1. General rule


In general, forming the feminine form of adjectives is quite easy: simply add an "e"!

Masculine

Feminine

Petit

Petite

Grand

Grande

Intelligent

Intelligente

​Mauvais

Mauvaise

Poli

Polie

Compliqué

Compliquée

National

Nationale


Pronunciation 🗣: The final consonants "-d" and "-t" are not pronounced in the masculine form, but they are pronounced in the feminine form due to the “e”.


2. Special cases


Obviously, the rule cannot be so easy, of course there are some exceptions! You must pay attention to the ending of the adjective in the masculine form as it defines its ending in the feminine form.


Case of adjectives ending with "e" in the masculine

If the adjective already ends with the letter "e" in the masculine, the feminine is the same. (We do not add a second "e" to form the feminine).


Examples: facile (easy), difficile (difficult), simple, habile (skillful), égoïste (selfish), propre (clean), sale (dirty), riche (rich), pauvre (poor)...


Un exercice facile (an easy exercise): masculine / Une dictée facile (an easy dictation): feminine


Irregular adjectives in the feminine

The ending of the adjective in the masculine indicates its ending in the feminine. But some adjectives are also very irregular and completely different in the feminine. It's up to you to memorize them.


Masculine

Feminine

el, naturel, essentiel, traditionnel…

elle, naturelle, essentielle, traditionnelle…

Naïf, définitif, agressif…

​Naïve, définitive, agressive…

Premier, dernier, léger

Première, dernière, légère

Heureux, joyeux, peureux

Heureuse, joyeuse, peureuse

​Bon, mignon

Bonne, mignonne

Ancien, aérien…

Ancienne, aérienne…

Public

Publique

Faux

Fausse

Doux

Douce

Beau

Belle

Fou, mou

Folle, molle

Franc

Franche

Sec

Sèche

Long

Longue

Frais

Fraîche

Vieux

Vieille



What about nationalities?


Nationalities are adjectives and follow the same rules.


Examples: II est français./Elle est française.


Il est belge./Elle est belge. (same for masculine and feminine)


Il est marocain./Elle est marocaine.


Il est brésilien. / Elle est brésilienne.



There are 2 exceptions:

Masculine

Feminine

Grec

Ex : Un monument grec

Grecque

Ex : la mythologie grecque

Turc

Ex : Un plat turc

Turque

Ex : l'histoire turque


Exercise


Transform the following adjectives to the feminine. The answers are below the image.



Answers: 1-petite, 2-sympathique, 3-lourde, 4-cruelle, 5-vive, 6-grecque, 7-publique, 8-natale, 9-étroite, 10-nerveuse, 11-turque, 12-officielle, 13-belle, 14-fraîche, 15-aérienne, 16-première


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