Other adjectives

So last week we learned how to conjugate the verb être (to be) and we also learned some basic adjectives for describing ourselves and other people!

This week we are going to learn some more adjectives, only this time, we are going to be learning adjectives that agree with the subject of the sentence.

You remember from when we learned colors that color words in French change their endings depending on the subject of the sentence, a grammatical concept that does not exist in English.

la chèvre blanche

le chat noir

Here are some adjectives that change their endings. The word on the left is masculine singular, then next to it is the same word but with a feminine singular ending. Look carefully at the ending for when the word becomes feminine:

      1. heureux
      2. heureuse
 – happy

      3. petit
      4. petite
 – short

      5. grand
      6. grande
 – tall

      7. blond
      8. blonde
 – blond

      9. brun
 –  – brunette

      10. roux
      11. rousse
 – redhead

      12. insouciant
      13. insouciante
 – carefree

      14. bavard
      15. bavarde
 – chatty

      16. intellectuel
      17. intellectuelle
 – academic

      18. sportif
      19. sportive
 – sporty

      20. chrétien
      21. chrétienne
 – Christian

      22. américain
      23. américaine
 – American

      24. généreux
      25. généreuse
 – generous

      26. affectueux
      27. affectueuse
 – affectionate


Did you notice the endings and how they changed?

Typically, adjectives that end in -eux become -euse when they are describing something feminine.

Others are just irregular when they are made feminine: -le for intellectuel, -ive for -if, or the word roux changing to rousse when feminine.

Most adjectives, however, take a simple -e for when it’s feminine.

If it is masculine plural, unless the adjective ends in an -x, you simply add an “s”. Same if it’s feminine plural. Simply add an “s” to the end.

Using these adjectives in sentences

We would use these adjectives just as we did with the adjectives we used last week, except that we change the endings depending on the gender of our subject, just like we did when we were describing animals a few weeks ago!

For example, if we were to talk about Madame Linke and how she is an American, in French, we would start with our subject:

Madame Linke

Then we pick the 3rd person singular of the verb être, which is est.

Madame Linke est

And the word for American in French is simply américain. But since we are describing Madame Linke, a woman, we need to add an -e to the end of the word américain. So we now have:

Madame Linke est américaine.

However, if we were to talk about Mr. Linke, we do not add an -e to the end of américain, since our subject is male. It would simply be:

Monsieur Linke est américain.

And you can be more than one thing! If you (a female) wanted to tell someone that you are both Christian and a blond:

Je suis chrétienne et blonde.

We just add the conjunction et for and!

This is just enough to get you started on describing people and yourself in French!


Pick any 10 of the above adjectives and draw an illustration for each of your word choices to describe that word.

Complete the worksheet with adjectives to look up in French given to you in class. If you were absent that day or lost the paper, download it here to print at your convenience!

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