Indefinite Adjectives

French indefinite adjectives
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Adjectifs indéfinis

Indefinite adjectives describe nouns in a general or non-specific way. Many indefinite adjectives indicate a vague quantity.

Par exemple…

J’aime toutes ces lumières.   I like all of these lights.
Quelques élèves sont en retard.   Some students are late.

Characteristics of indefinite adjectives

  1. Used in place of an article, not with one (except autre)
  2. Placed directly in front of a noun
  3. Must agree with the noun in number and sometimes gender
  4. Many are identical to French indefinite pronouns

French indefinite adjectives

Masc sing   Fem sing   Masc plural   Fem plural    
autre   autre   autres   autres   other
certain   certaine   certains   certaines   certain
chaque   chaque           each
        divers   diverses   various, several
maint   mainte   maints   maintes   many
        plusieurs   plusieurs   several
quelque   quelque   quelques   quelques   some, a few   
tel   telle   tels   telles   some, any
tout   toute   tous   toutes   all, every

Using indefinite adjectives

+ Autre and quelque have two forms: they must agree with the noun in number.

Il veut une autre voiture.   He wants another car.
J’ai deux autres questions.   I have two other questions.
Il faut attendre quelque temps.   You have to wait some time.
Voici quelques chaises.   Here are some chairs.

  When autres is used without a number, you need the indefinite article des. However, it changes to de (see the end of that lesson) and then contracts, so you end up with d’autre(s).

Y a-t-il d’autres idées ?   Are there any other ideas?

+ Certain, maint, tel, and tout each have four forms: they must agree in gender and number.

Elle a un certain charme.   She has a certain charm.
Une telle situation est inattendue.   Such a situation is unexpected.
Je le fais tous les jours.   I do it every day.

+ Chaque is invariable. It can only be singular and is used with the third person singular (il) form of the verb.

Chaque enfant peut choisir un livre.   Each child can choose one book.

+ Divers and plusieurs can only be plural and are used with the third person plural (ils) form of the verb. Plusieurs is invariable, while divers has masculine and feminine forms.

Diverses personnes sont parties tôt.   Various / Several people left early.
J’ai posé plusieurs questions.   I asked several questions.

 Related lessons

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French indefinite adjectives

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1 Response

  1. quacking 6 May 2015 / 19:00

    Merci Laura, très intéressant 🙂

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