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Beau, nouveau, vieux, fou, mou have two masculine forms and one feminine form

The adjectives beau, nouveau, vieux have THREE forms in the singular.

Look at these three cases:

La belle fille  the beautiful girl (feminine)

Le beau verrethe beautiful glass   (masculine)

Le bel arbrethe beautiful tree    (masculine)

Note that the masculine form changes when it is followed by a vowel or mute h.

This third form exists to make sentences easier to pronounce !

Here are all the forms:

masc before cons. masc before vowel feminine meaning
beau bel belle good-looking/pretty/handsome
nouveau nouvel nouvelle new
vieux vieil vieille old
fou fol folle crazy/mad
mou mol molle soft

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Le bel arbrethe beautiful tree    (masculine)
Le beau verrethe beautiful glass   (masculine)
C'est un vieux sac.
It's an old bag.    (masculine)
La belle fille  the beautiful girl (feminine)
C'est une vieille dame.She's an old lady
C'est un vieil hommeHe's an old man

Q&A Forum 3 questions, 2 answers

MartinA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why two versions

Bonjour,

I've just been explaining this to my wife and I think it has finally gone in at last

Asked 21 hours ago

Why two versions

Bonjour,

I've just been explaining this to my wife and I think it has finally gone in at last

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SandraA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Brand new vs New (but used before)

Why is the answer not: Georges cherche pour son neuf stylo? 

There is no suggestion that the new pen has been used before. If it had, it would be (masc/sing) nouveau - the answer given as correct.

Can you please explain why the answer is nouveau.

Asked 2 months ago
DavidB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

Hi. I think it is a trick question as ‘nouveau’ is a BAGS adjective and precedes the noun, but (don’t ask me why) ‘neuf’ follows the noun, as in “Pont Neuf”.

Brand new vs New (but used before)

Why is the answer not: Georges cherche pour son neuf stylo? 

There is no suggestion that the new pen has been used before. If it had, it would be (masc/sing) nouveau - the answer given as correct.

Can you please explain why the answer is nouveau.

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JohnB1Kwiziq community member

Plural forms for mou and fou

Bonjour!

I am confused on a couple of adjective forms-> mou and fou. Can you spell out the plural forms for masc and fem for these two? ex: soft couches, crazy scenes, etc

Asked 8 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Here you go:

Il est fou, il a un fol ami, Il a des fous amis.

Elle est folle, elle a des folles amies.

And mou works just the same.

Plural forms for mou and fou

Bonjour!

I am confused on a couple of adjective forms-> mou and fou. Can you spell out the plural forms for masc and fem for these two? ex: soft couches, crazy scenes, etc

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