Grammatical agreement is a vast topic – and one of the banes of French students. While in English we have a few nouns, pronouns, and adjectives that indicate gender and number (e.g., waiter/he/him/his and waitress/she/her/hers), in French, agreement is found in 5 of the 8
parts of speech. Here are the various types of French agreement with examples and links to in-depth lessons.
All the different kinds of French adjectives (
demonstrative, possessive, negative, etc) have to agree with the nouns that they modify.
Cette femme est belle.
That woman is beautiful.
Nos enfants sont très inventifs.
Our kids are very creative.
Each of the three types of French articles (definite, indefinite, partitive) have a masculine singular form, a feminine singular form, and a plural form.
le garçon, la fille, les enfants
the boy, the girl, the kids
un pull, une jupe, des vêtements
a sweater, a skirt, some clothes
du pain, de la tisane, des épinards
some bread, some tea, some spinach
Most French nouns have a singular form and a plural form. Nouns that refer to people or animals also have a masculine form and a feminine form.
un ami, une ami e, des ami s, des ami es
le caissier, la caissi ère, les caissier s, les caissi ères
Making compound nouns plural is somewhat more complicated.
une pause-café, des pauses-café
le haut-parleur, les haut-parleurs
Subject pronouns, object pronouns, and all the rest have different forms for each grammatical person.
Elle te voit.
She sees you.
Je peux vous les envoyer.
I can send them to you.
Show it to them.
Five types of impersonal pronouns (
demonstrative, indefinite, interrogative, negative, and possessive) must agree with the nouns they replace in gender and number.
Où sont tes gants ? Ceux-ci sont à moi.
Where are your gloves? These are mine.
Les miens sont dans la voiture.
Mine are in the car.
Chacune d’entre vous doit les porter.
Each of you has to wear them.
Verb agreement in the compound tenses and moods is probably the most difficult – take a look at
verb agreement for details.
PwLF super list of agreement lessons
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