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 beautysizeage-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.

  1. Elle porte une jolie robe rougeShe is wearing a nice red dress.
  2. Cette fleur bleue est belle. This blue flower is beautiful.
  3. Il y avait quelques personnes à la soirée. There were a few people at the party.
  4. Où est mon ballon de foot? Where is my soccer ball?
  5. Les personnes malades vont à l'hôpital. Sick people go to the hospital.


Let's Take a Quiz!

What did you learn?