Nouns and Adjectives: Irregular Feminine Forms

Noms et adjectifs : Formes féminines irrégulières

French adjectives and nouns
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Most French nouns and adjectives become feminine with the addition of -e, but there are some exceptions. Some irregular adjectives and 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.

The location of the tréma on -gu is in flux. The feminine was originally spelled -guë and this is still very common, even though the spelling was officially changed to -güe in 1990.

 French nouns and adjectives

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French irregular adjectives and nouns

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