Virtual Kollage: Adjectives of colour in French

Posted by / Tuesday, 7 February 2017 / No comments

Adjectives of colour in French

Girl, Woman, Beauty, Charm, Emotion


Adjectives of Color
Adjectives of color normally follow the noun and agree with it in gender and
in number.
une chemise bleue a blue shirt
des livres gris gray books
des chaussures vertes green shoes

Two adjectives of color, blanc and violet, have irregular feminine forms.
un crayon blanc               a white pencil
une chemise blanche       a white shirt
des cahiers violets                     purple notebooks
des voitures violettes       purple cars
Adjectives of color ending in silent -e are spelled the same in both masculine and feminine.
des cahiers (m. pl.) jaunes                   yellow notebooks
des fleurs (f. pl.) jaunes                        yellow flowers
une chaise rouge                                a red chair
un manteau rouge                               a red coat
des pull-overs (m. pl.)                                  roses pink sweaters
des chaussettes (f. pl.)                                 roses pink socks

Two adjectives of color, marron and orange, are invariable in gender and number.
des chaussures marron (f. pl.)      brown shoes
des sacs orange (m. pl.)                orange handbags

The names of colors are masculine when used as nouns.
J’aime le rose et le bleu. I love pink and blue.

Adjectives That Precede the Noun
Most descriptive adjectives follow the noun, but these adjectives usually precede it:
autre other                            joli(e) pretty
beau (m. s.) beautiful, handsome
mauvais(e) bad                  bon(ne) good
même same

grand(e) big, tall; great      nouveau (m. s.) new
gros(se) fat, big                   petit(e) small; short
jeune young                                     vieux (m. s.) old

The adjectives beau (beautiful, handsome), nouveau (new), and vieux
(old) are irregular. In addition, each has a second masculine singular
form which is used before a vowel sound or mute h.

Singular                         Plural
Masculine            beau                               beaux
Un                              nouveau _ livre                   de nouveaux _ livres
vieux                                        vieux

Masculine            bel homme                      beaux hommes
Before Vowel       un nouvel _ objet         de nouveaux _ objets
Sound                  vieil                                vieux

Feminine              belle voiture                   belles filles
une nouvelle _ auto                       de nouvelles _ autos
vieille         ville                      vieilles dammes

Pronounce the examples below, and practice by substituting other nouns for maison and homme. What changes do you need to make in the articles and adjectives?
C’est une belle maison.                It’s a pretty house.
C’est un vieil homme.                    He’s an old man.
C’est le nouveau professeur.       That’s the new teacher.


When a plural adjective precedes a plural noun, the indefinite article des usually shortens to de/d’, as you may have noticed in the previous chart.
de grandes autos              (some) big cars
de nouvelles idées                       (some) new ideas
d’autres amis                      (some) other friends

However, colloquial French often retains des before the plural.
Ce sont des bons copains! They’re good pals!

A few adjectives that usually precede nouns can also follow them. This change of position causes a change in meaning. For example:
un ancien professeur (a former teacher)
une maison ancienne (an ancient [very old] house)
le dernier exercice (the final exercise)
l’année dernière (f.) (last year)
un pauvre garçon (an unfortunate boy)
un garçon pauvre (a poor [not rich] boy)
une chère amie (a dear friend)
un repas cher (an expensive meal)

Key Vocabulary
Learn these common adjectives to answer the question: Comment est... ? (What is . . . like?) when you want to describe something or someone. Answer  with Il est.../Elle est... (He/She/It is . . .).

Les adjectifs descriptifs (Descriptive Adjectives)
agréable (pleasant)                                    heureux (-euse) (happy)
avare (stingy)                                   idéaliste (idealistic)
beau (bel, belle) (beautiful/handsome)
intelligent(e) (intelligent)
bon (bonne) (good)                                     intéressant(e) (interesting)
bon marché (inv.) (inexpensive) jeune (young)
cher (chère) (expensive; dear)    joli(e) (pretty)
chic (inv.) (stylish, chic)                  laid(e) (ugly)
content(e) (happy, pleased)         mauvais(e) (bad)
costaud(e) (sturdy [person])         mince (thin)
dernier (-ière) (last, final)                         nouveau/nouvel/nouvelle (new)
désolé(e) (sorry)                             pauvre (poor)
difficile (difficult)                             petit(e) (small; short)
drôle (funny)                                                 premier (-ière) (first)
excellent(e) (excellent)                 riche (rich)
facile (easy)                                                 sincère (sincere)
fantastique (wonderful)                 sociable (friendly)
fatigué(e) (tired)                              sympathique (nice)
formidable (fabulous)                    timide (shy, timid)
fort(e) (strong)                                  triste (sad)
grand(e) (big, tall; great)                typique (typical)
gros(se) (fat)                                    vieux/vieil/vieille (old)

Les couleurs (Colors)

blanc(he) (white)                                        blond(e) (blond[e])
bleu(e) (blue)                                               brun(e) (dark-haired)
gris(e) (gray)                                                rose (pink)
jaune (yellow)                                              rouge (red)
marron (inv.) (brown)                                  vert(e) (green)
noir(e) (black)                                              violet(te) (purple)
orange (inv.) (orange)



Key Vocabulary
In French, names of all languages are masculine. They often correspond to
the masculine singular form of the noun of nationality: l’anglais (m.) (the
English language); l’Anglaise (the Englishwoman). Adjectives of nationality
and languages are not capitalized, but nouns are.


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