Invariable Adjectives

French invariable adjectives
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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

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Invariable French adjectives

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