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Adjectives ending in: gu, er, el, (i)en, on, eil, and ul

An adjective is a word that modifies a noun. There are many types of adjectives: descriptive adjectives, verbal adjectives, demonstrative adjectives, relative adjectives etc...

In this chapter we will study the descriptive or qualifying adjectives.

Let’s start with the following examples:

J’ai acheté un grand coffre à jouets.
I bought a big toy chest.

“grand” is a descriptive adjective. It modifies or describes the noun “coffre”. Notice that the adjective in the sentence above preceded the noun.

Elle a des parents très sévères.
She has very strict parents.

“sévères” is a descriptive adjective. It modifies the noun “parents”. Notice that the adjective in the sentence above followed the noun.

We generally form the feminine of adjectives by adding “e” to the masculine form. However, there are many adjectives that depend on their endings to determine their feminine form. In this lesson, we will study the feminine form of the adjectives ending in: “gu”, “er”, “el”, “(i)el”, “on”, “eil”, and “ul”.

Adjectives ending in gu

The adjectives ending in “gu” form their feminine by adding an “ë” with the accent called trema.

For example:

MasculineFeminine
aigu Aiguë
ambigu ambiguë
exigu exiguë
contigu contiguë


Quand devons-nous mettre l’accent aigu sur le “e” ?
When do we have to put the accent aigu on the “e”?

Je n’aime pas quand elle crie. Elle a la voix très aiguë !
I don’t like when she screams. She has a high-pitched voice!

Adjectives ending in er

The adjectives ending in “er” form their feminine by adding an “e” at the end and an accent grave to the “e” that precedes the “r”.

For example:

MasculineFeminine
fier fière
premier première
dernier dernière
frontalier frontalière
financier financière
singulier singulière


Mon père est fier de ses enfants.
My father is proud of his children.

Ma mère est fière de ses enfants.
My mother j’ai is proud of her children.

Adjectives ending in: el, (i)en, on, eil, and ul

All the adjectives that end in “el, (i)en, on, eil, ul”: double their final consonant in the feminine form.

For example:

MasculineFeminine
habituel habituelle
accidentel accidentelle
actuel actuelle
annuel annuelle
culturel culturelle
moyen moyenne
libyen libyenne
bohémien bohémienne
chrétien chrétienne
bon bonne
mignon mignonne
pareil pareille
vieil vieille
nul nulle