Non-adjectives

Adjectifs qui ne le sont pas

Adjectives comprise one of the eight French parts of speech, but certain members of other grammatical categories can sometimes be used as adjectives. These "non adjectives" are invariable: there’s no gender/number agreement with the nouns they modify.

There are four types of non-adjective adjectives.

1) Adverbs used as adjectives

As far as I know, this is the complete list:

allegro   allegro (quick, lively tempo)
arrière   back, rear
avant   front
bien   nice, decent
debout   standing, up
incognito   incognito
mal   wrong, bad, sick, uncomfortable

2) Prefixes used as adjectives

Five French prefixes are used as adjectives:

extra    great, first-rate, top-quality
hyper   excessive, to a very high degree
maxi   maximum, long
mini   small
super   great, terrific

3) Nouns used as adjectives

Many nouns can be used as adjectives; here are just a few examples.

les opérations escargot   rolling blockades
l’entrée est / nord / ouest / sud   east / north / west / south entrance
les mères gâteau   soft/indulgent mothers
une tarte maison   homemade pie
des chaussures sport   athletic shoes
les comptes utilisateur   user accounts
les câbles vidéo   video cables
les sites Web   websites

4) Noun clauses used as adjectives

Like all of the above, noun clauses do not agree with the nouns they are "adjectiving" for*

une voiture bon marché   a cheap car
ils sont de bonne humeur   they’re in a good mood
elles sont trop collet monté   they’re too straight-laced
les ascenseurs hors service   out-of-service elevators
les soi-disant victimes   alleged victims

 *But there is agreement within the noun clause – note that in the second example, bonne is feminine to agree with its noun humeur.

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French adjectives


Test your French against the CEFR standard
Loading your Kwiz
Stay up to date with Lawless French!
Twitter Facebook Google+ Instagram Pinterest YouTube RSS Newsletter

Any Questions?

 Get help on the forum.
  
 

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.

Comments or questions about this page?