Gender Agreement

In French, things are either masculine (masculin) or feminine (féminin). There are no rules (or not many) to explain why a chair (une chaise) is feminine or why a keyboard (un clavier) is masculine.

The adjective agrees in gender with the subject. Most of the time, add an "e" to the adjective to make it become feminine.

Un homme (a man) is masculine and "a perfect man" is spelled:

  • Un homme parfait. Audio. Press to listen!

Une femme (a woman) is feminine. So "a perfect woman" is spelled:

  • Une femme parfaite. Audio. Press to listen!

When an adjective "naturally" ends with "e", its feminine form ending remains the same.

  • Un homme agréable. Audio. Press to listen! (a pleasant man)
  • Une femme agréable Audio. Press to listen! (a pleasant woman)

When an adjective "naturally" ends with "x", its feminine form ending is "se". The most common example is:

  • Il est heureux Audio. Press to listen! (He's happy)
  • Elle est heureuse Audio. Press to listen! (She's happy)

Do you need more examples ? OK, here they are:

Masculine Feminine English
content contente happy
lent lente slow
gourmand gourmande fond of good food
déçu déçue disappointed
timide timide shy
malade malade sick
amoureux amoureuse in love