Invariable Adjectives

French invariable adjectives
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Adjectifs invariables

Most French adjectives have to agree with their nouns in gender and number, but there are many exceptions, known as invariable adjectives. These have just one unchanging form no matter the gender and number of the noun they modify.

Par exemple…

la région nord the northern region
des lois antitabac anti-smoking laws

Most invariable adjectives fit in one of the following groups:

Apocopes  extra, perso, sympa
Cardinal directions  nord, sud, est, ouest
Color adjectives*  argent, chocolat, orange
Foreign adjectives  cool, lambda, people
Numerical adjectives* deux, troisième, quatrième

* Not all of these kinds of adjectives are invariable; see the lessons for more detailed info.

Cross-dressing adjectives

When words that normally belong to another part of speech are used as adjectives, they are invariable: Non-adjectives.

Likewise, adjectives that are used as adverbs are invariable: Adjectives as adverbs.

Other invariable adjectives

There are also invariable adjectives that don’t fit into any of the above categories:

antiblocage  antilock (brakes)
antibruit  soundproof, noise-reducing
anticalcaire  water softening
anticellulite  anti-cellulite
anticorrosion  anticorrosive
antidouleur  painkilling
antiglisse  nonslip
antihausse  anti-inflation
antipersonnel  antipersonnel
antrirejet  anti-rejection (drugs)
antirides  anti-wrinkle
antitabac  anti-smoking
arsénieux  arsenic
autofocus  autofocus
autoreverse  auto reverse
chaque  each
cracra(familiar) dirty, scuzzy, grotty
craignos(familiar) shady, dodgy
craspec(familar) shabby, grotty
dextrorsum  dextrorsal, clockwise
furax(informal) furious
gnangnan(informal) silly, soppy
manganeux  manganous
mercureux  mercurous
multiplex  multiplex
omnibus  omnibus, local
péritel  multisocket
plusieurs  several
princeps  first (edition)
raplapla(informal) exhausted, flat
redox  redox
(informal) tiny, stingy
rosat  made from roses
sélénieux  selenious
sénestrorsum  sinistrorse, counter-clockwise
soi-disant  so-called, supposedly
surchoix  prime, top-quality
toc toc  crazy, nutty
tout craché  very similar, spitting image
tricourant  three-phase (electricity)


With c’est plus an adjective on its own, including in impersonal expressions, the adjective is always invariable.

Par exemple…

La maison, c’est joli. The house is pretty.
C’est intéressant, la chimie. Chemistry is difficult.

* As opposed to c’est une jolie maison and la chimie est intéressante.

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Invariable French adjectives

Questions about French?

 Ask me in the comments section below or visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.