Adjective – adjectif
Let's Define It!
What's an *adjective*?
First off, an adjective is a word that gives information about a noun.
There are two types of adjectives in French: qualificative adjectives [adjectifs qualificatifs]-- they serve to indicate a quality possessed by the noun they describe --> "un joli vélo" [a nice bicycle].
Unlike in English, French qualificative adjectives are often placed after the noun: "un homme courtois" [a courteous man] / un magasin ouvert [an open store]. When they precede the noun ["un joli vélo"], they usually deal with beauty, size, age-related adjectives or connote a special meaning (more on this later in another lesson).
The other type of adjectives fall under the category of determiners -- they give information about the scope of reference of a noun, i.e., gender, number, person, possession, demonstratives, etc. They are either definite or indefinite and always precede the nouns. "mon père" [my father] (definite)/ "certains romans" [some books] (indefinite).
A final note -- determining adjectives are much fewer than their qualificative counterparts.
Let's Pronounce It!
What does it sound like in French?
Let's Have an Example or Two!
Can a little reinforcement do the trick?
Below, you will find some examples of qualificative and determining adjectives. They are underlined for your convenience.
- Elle porte une jolie robe rouge. She is wearing a nice red dress.
- Cette fleur bleue est belle. This blue flower is beautiful.
- Il y avait quelques personnes à la soirée. There were a few people at the party.
- Où est mon ballon de foot? Where is my soccer ball?
- Les personnes malades vont à l'hôpital. Sick people go to the hospital.