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There are a lot of rules in any language, but French seems to have more than its fair share. Here are some things you should know when agreeing adjectives to gender

Most adjectives can be made feminine by adding an e to the masculine form.

grand = grande
If the masculine form already has a mute e, there is no change for the feminine version of the adjective.
optimiste = optimiste
Lots of groups of adjectives follow particular rules (of course). There are several exceptions, but the rules hold true in many cases.
  • If the adjective ends with an x in the masculine form, simply replace the x with se to make that adjective feminine. For example: studieux = studieuse

    The exceptions are faux (fausse), roux (rousse), and doux (douce).

  • If the adjective ends with er in the masculine form, replace the er with ère to make that adjective feminine. For example: premier = première

  • If the masculine ending is et, replace the et with ète to form the feminine adjective. For example: complet = complète.

    The exceptions are muet (muette) and coquet (coquette)

  • If the masculine ending is f, replace the f with ve to make the adjective feminine. For example: actif = active

  • If the masculine ending is il, el or eil, add an le to the end of the adjective to make it feminine. For example: gentil = gentille, spirituel = spirituelle, and pareil = pareille

  • If the masculine ending is en or on. add an ne to the end of the adjective to make it feminine. For example: ancien = ancienne, and bon = bonne

  • If the masculine ending is c, replace the c with che to make the adjective feminine. For example: blanc = blanche

    The exceptions are : public (publique) and grec (grecque)

  • If the masculine ending is g, replace the g with gue to make the adjective feminine. For example: long = longue

  • If the masculine ending is eur and the adjective is derived directly from the verb, replace the eur with euse to make the adjective feminine. For example: travailleur (verb is travailler) = travailleuse

  • If the masuline ending is eur and the adjective is NOT derivd directly from the verb, replace the eur with rice to make the adjective feminine. For example: conservateur (verb is conserver) = conservatrice

  • If the masculine ending is eur and it is an adjective of comparison, replace the eur with eure to make the adjective feminine. For example: meilleur = meilleure

There are some adjectives that follow no rules and have to be memorized by themselves. Everyone loves these guys:

Épais = Épaisse
Favori = Favorite
Frais = Fraîche
Gros = Grosse
Beau = Belle
Nouveau = Nouvelle
Vieux = Vieille

To complicate things further, beau, nouveau and vieux have alterate masculine forms that have to be used with singular masculine nouns beginning with a vowel or mute h.

un beau manteau vs. un bel imperméable
un nouveau canapé vs. un nouvel appatement
un vieux monsieur vs. un vieil homme

Need help? Let me know!

Most of this information came from
my brain and was reinfoced by a review
sheet I recieved from a professor.

The French Adjective Agreement significantly affected the balance of power during the great Everything 2 Civil War1. While there is a growing list of historians2 who believe that the agreement ended any chance that the "touchie feelies"3 had of prevailing over the "factuals"4, only recently has information surfaced detailing how the agreement was reached.

The information comes chiefly from archived e-mail messages that were thought to have been lost in the fog of war, but are now available from a data miner who had secretly mirrored the E2 site throughout the conflict.

As most historians know, after early setbacks in April of 2000, the "factuals" quietly gave a young Colonel, known as wharfinger5, carte blanche to assemble a special operations group to work on projects of his own devising. What becomes clear through the archived information is that wharfinger, rather than fighting the enemy, spent most of his time secretly working to keep the loose coalition of "factuals" together.

The "factuals" were an alliance of encylopedists6, lyrics7, code geeks8, grammarians9, and math theorem fetishists10. In retrospect, it is easy to see why wharfinger had his hands full; it would be difficult to find a more disagreeable bunch of self-absorbed snots.

But wharfie became an expert at pleasing each of these cliques by disparaging one of the others. Lies and disinformation became second nature to him11 -- used amongst his allies, not the enemy. Surprisingly, it worked. He kept the allies focused on their true enemy and defused many potentially crippling squabbles that might have blown the "factual" coalition apart.

His coup de grace was the French Adjective Agreement. A last offensive was being planned to punish and destroy the GTKYers when the code geeks and math fetishists suddenly decided they could not abide the grammarians any longer12. Their defection would have prolonged the war for years and left the outcome certainly in doubt.

Wharfinger miraculously kept the coalition together by obtaining concessions from the grammarians. To wit, they would refrain from noding anything regarding French Adjectives ever again13. With the crisis passed, the "factuals" hit the "touchie feelies" with everything they had left and the GTKYers were forced to sue for peace.

Even before these archives became available and the true story was known, it was possible to see in the E2 database the cultural memory of the French Adjective Agreement; nodes that mention french adjectives seem to quickly collect inordinate amounts of downvotes and are often nuked before they become blackholes of XP - and rightly so14.


1 -- This statement is pure conjecture on my part and is unsupported by any evidence.
2 -- Numbering 1 at the moment.
3 -- Also known as GTKYers.
4 -- Also known as "dried up sticks of mud".
5 -- Alias: wharf, wharfie, pedantic old coot, and dockdigit.
6 -- The encyclopedists wanted every E2 node to resemble an encyclopedia entry.
7 -- The lyrics saw nothing wrong with noding copyrighted lyrics -- and only rarely would they bother with an explanation or explication.
8 -- The code geeks annoyed everyone by posting their various versions of stupid programs in countless irrelevant programming languages: see Hello World.
9 --The grammarians would node countless snippets of language rules -- not even restricting themselves to the English language. They would also frequently harass other noders with their pedantry and downvotes.
10 -- The math theorem fetishists were a strange lot; producing arcane gibberish with unrecognizable symbols. There is compelling evidence they were either an offshoot of freemasonry or the result of someone having forgotten to lock the doors at Bellevue Hospital.
11 -- Character traits that didn't always serve him well in his career after the war: See the landmark libel case Oneida Nation vs. Wharfinger.
12 -- Wharfinger never discovered the individual responsible for this treacherous near-betrayal -- though he always suspected TBBK.
13 -- In one of the archived e-mails, Pseudo_Intellectual writes, "If I had but one downvote to give for my country, I would give it to a french adjective node." A line that is sure to renew interest in his role during the war.
14 -- XP = Experience Points. A form of online currency then in vogue. Some mistakenly believe the Everything 2 Civil War was fought over XP/voting.

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