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 amie, des amis, des amies||
|le caissier, la caissière, les caissiers, les caissières||
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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