Today, we're going to see the main mistakes you might be making on French adjectives.

These are mistakes that I hear very often when I teach and especially in my French conversation group.

I listen to my students speak and at the end of the session, we share the results and I correct with them the main mistakes they made during their conversation.

If you want to practice your oral French and have teachers who guide you in your conversations, join us in my conversation group Ohlala Frenc Coffee.


Ennuyant or ennuyeux ?

A movie is ennuyant or ennuyeux ?

We use the adjective “ennuyant” when something temporary, ephemeral, which does not last long, causes a feeling of boredom, weariness, or discomfort.

We use "ennuyant" when something annoys us, but it doesn't last in time.

We use the adjective "ennuyeux" when something causes us a feeling of boredom, lassitude or unpleasantness and that it lasts in time, it happens all the time or very often.

We use "ennuyeux" when something annoys us, all the time, when it is repetitive.

A movie will be ...ennuyant !


Let's look at other examples:

Le discours de ce politicien est très ennuyant

Le réchauffement climatique inquiète de plus en plus, c’est une situation très ennuyeuse

Je n’aime pas parler avec ma voisine, elle est ennuyeuse.

Nous avons dû annuler notre pique-nique à cause du mauvais temps, c’est ennuyant.



Ennuyant = something or someone that annoys / bores at some point, but it doesn't last.

Ennuyeux = something or someone that annoys / bores all the time, every time.


💡  My advice on this point:

The difference between these two terms may seem subtle. I advise you for a while, until you master these two words, to write down an example of your daily life. Normally, we think of something positive about our day, but unfortunately, here I'm going to ask you to think of one thing that is boring and another that is annoying.

For example :
La réunion d’aujourd’hui était très ennuyante. Les voitures dans ma rue roulent trop vite, c’est ennuyeux.


Feminine of adjectives in french(Pronunciation):

Il est heureux 

Elle est heureuse

In French, adjectives agree in gender and number. They will be slightly different in the plural and singular, as well as in the feminine and masculine.

You will hear a difference in pronunciation between masculine and feminine adjectives. Be careful to pronounce these adjectives correctly to mark the feminine or masculine gender.

If I am a woman, I will say: je suis sportive.

And not : je suis sportif.


In general, to form the feminine of adjectives, an -e is added to masculine adjectives:

Il est étudiant → Elle est étudiante

Il est étudiant (you can't hear the -t) → Elle est étudiante (we hear the -t).


For adjectives that end in -eux in the masculine, become -euse in the feminine:

Il est généreux → Elle est généreuse


For adjectives that end in -er in the masculine, become -ère in the feminine:

Il est léger → Elle est légère


For adjectives ending in -ien in the masculine, become -ienne in the feminine:

Il est canadien → Elle est canadienne


For adjectives that end in -if in the masculine, become -ive in the feminine:

Il est actif → Elle est active


💡 My advice on this:

Practice these adjectives well and have fun putting the adjectives in the masculine and then the feminine. 

If you like to watch series, describe the characters in French using adjectivesIl est grand et brun. Il est anglais. Elle est petite et blonde. Elle est australienne.


Adjectives in -al in french :

This is the point where there are the most errors on adjectives in French. It's the adjectives that end in -al and especially the plural of these adjectives.

Most adjectives ending in -al in the singular become -aux in the plural:

Le droit international.

Les droits internationaux.

Un produit local.

Des produits locaux.

Un artiste génal.

Des artistes géniaux.


⚠️  Precision :

To form the plural of these adjectives in the feminine, an -s is added to the feminine singular form:

For example :

Une loi internationale

Des lois internationales

Alors qu'au masculin pluriel, cela donne :

Un droit international

Des droits internationaux.


⚠️ Exceptions :

Some adjectives that end in -al in the singular will take an -s in the plural.

These are the exceptions. I know you love it!

Some adjectives do not have -aux as an ending, but -als, for example : 

Un objet banal.

Des objets banals.

Un lit bancal.

Des lits bancals.

Un accident fatal.

Des accidents fatals.

These exceptions are listed below:

  • bancal

  • fatal

  • natal (périnatal, prénatal, etc.)

  • foutral

  • fractal

  • naval


These are adjectives rarely used in everyday language. Remember mainly “fatal”, “bancal” and “natal”

 One last thing about adjectives ending in -al. 

For some adjectives ending in -al in the singular, two forms are accepted in the plural: als or aux. 

 Un contrôle final.

Des contrôles finals (or finaux).

 Un homme idéal.

Des hommes idéals (or idéaux).

 Un froid glacial.

Des froids glacials (or glaciaux).


Remember about the plural of adjectives in -al :

 95% of the time adjectives in -al in singular become -aux in plural.

Un vol continental → Des vols continentaux.

 Some key exceptions to note: bancal, fatal et natal.


💡 My advice on this:

To memorize this point, use memorization methods that you already use and that work for you: flashcards, lists, mind maps, etc.

I still suggest that you use adjectives with personal examples, which are related to your life.

 For example, for my part, I could say: J’essaye le plus possible d’acheter des produits locaux. Les professeurs avec qui je travaille sont très amicaux et géniaux. Mes deux bureaux sont un peu bancals, il faut que je les stabilise.


É or ant ?

Fatigué or fatigant ?

Stressé or stressant ?

Intéressé or intéressant ?

We have past participles that function here as adjectives: fatigué, stressé, intéressé, etc. And verbal adjectives : fatigant, stressant, intéressant, etc.

Let's take an example so that you can better understand the difference. If I say:

Je suis stressé(e).

This refers to my condition. I have stress in me.


If I say:

Je suis stressant(e).

It means that I cause stress, that I create stress in others. 

For example:

Mon travail est stressant, par conséquent je suis stressé(e).

My job causes me stress, it gives me stress. → il est stressant.

The consequence is that I have a lot of stress in me, so je suis stressé(e).



Je suis fatigué(e) : I have fatigue in me, it's my condition.

Je suis fatiguant(e) : I provoke, I create fatigue in others, I fatigue others.


Je suis intéressé(e) : I have an interest in something, that's my condition.

Je suis intéressant(e) : I create interest in others, I interest others.


💡 My advice on this:

I give you the same advice: make personal examples with past participles with be and verbal adjectives to practice this point.


Placement of adjectives in french:

Last but not least: the place of adjectives in French.

Spoiler: it's not that easy.

Generally, adjectives that describe nationality, color, shape or have objective value are placed AFTER the noun:

Une voiture allemande

Une robe rouge

Une maison rectangulaire

Un problème physique


Adjectives created from a verb are placed AFTER the noun:

Un homme stressé

Un film passionnant

Une situation compliquée


Most short and frequent adjectives are placed BEFORE the noun:

Un bel appartement 

Une jolie chemise

Un nouvel ordinateur

Un petit chien


Instead, long adjectives (three syllables or more) are placed AFTER the noun:

Une femme intelligente

Une carte électorale

Un vélo électrique

Un discours exceptionnel


Ordinal adjectives are placed BEFORE the noun:

Son premier chien

Sa deuxième femme

Ton troisième frère


Some adjectives that have a subjective value, that is a personal opinion, a judgment can be placed BEFORE or AFTER the noun. When they are placed before the noun, the adjective is stronger, it has an empathic value:

Cette chanson magnifique

Cette magnifique chanson


And lastly, some adjectives change their meaning if they are placed BEFORE or AFTER the noun:

Un pauvre homme = who is unlucky, who arouses pity

Un homme pauvre = who has no money


Ma maison ancienne = the house I have that is not new

Mon ancienne maison = the house I had before


Ma propre voiture = the car that belongs to me

Ma voiture propre = my car that is not dirty, that is cleaned


Un sacré livre = which is impressive, incredible

Un livre sacré = which is related to religion


💡 My advice on this:

Have a lot of patience!

It's not easy to place adjectives. I invite you to practice this point a lot in writing and speaking. Be careful when you make mistakes about the place of adjectives and learn from your mistakes. 


🇫🇷 I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course.