Nouns and Adjectives: Irregular Feminine Forms

Noms et adjectifs : Formes féminines irrégulières

Most French nouns and adjectives become feminine with the addition of e, but there are some exceptions. Some nouns require an additional spelling change, depending on the final letter(s) of the word.

      Par exemple…
c > che  
franc franche (adj) frank
c > que  
public
 
publique
 
(adj) public
 
er > ère  
un jardinier une jardinière (noun) gardener
cher
 
chère
 
(adj) expensive
 
et > ète  
secret
 
secrète
 
(adj) secret
 
eur > euse  
un chanteur une chanteuse (noun) singer
heureux heureuse (adj) happy
eur > rice  
un traducteur une traductrice (noun) translator
migrateur
 
migratrice
 
(adj) migratory
 
eux > euse  
heureux
 
heureuse
 
(adj) happy
 
f > ve  
naïf
 
naïve
 
(adj) naive
 
g > gue  
long
 
longue
 
(adj) long
 
gu > güe, guë  
aigu
 
aigüe, aiguë
 
(adj) acute
 
l > lle  
formel
 
formelle
 
(adj) formal
 
n > nne  
un patron une patronne (noun) boss
mignon
 
mignonne
 
(adj) cute
 
s > sse  
bas
 
basse
 
(adj) low
 
t > tte  
un chat une chatte (noun) cat
net nette (adj) neat, tidy

  Conseil concis

-c and -eur have two different feminine endings, but that doesn’t mean you can choose which one to use. Each noun and adjective requires a specific feminine ending – you can find out the correct one for your word in the dictionary.

-gu is in flux. The feminine used to be spelled -guë, but was officially changed to -güe in 1990. However, the old spelling is still very common.

 French nouns and adjectives

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