Beau, nouveau, vieux have different plural forms for masculine and feminine (adjectives)

Look at these adjectives:

Tom est beau, mais Henri et Bob sont très beaux.
Tom is handsome, but Henri and Bob are very handsome.

Yvette est belle, mais Leila et Belinda sont très belles.
Yvette is beautiful, but Leila and Belinda are very beautiful.

C'est un bel animal parmi de beaux animaux.
It's a beautiful animal among beautiful animals.

 

Note that to form the masculine plural, adjectives ending in -eau add -x, and vieux doesn't change.

As for the feminine plural, it is regular and simply takes an -s.

BUT

The masculine forms bel, nouvel and vieil (when in front of a vowel) become the regular masculine plural beaux, nouveaux and vieux.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'ai acheté de nouveaux bols et de nouvelles assiettes.
I bought some new bowls and some new plates.


"Plurals in French" by www.frenchspanishonline.com


C'est un bel animal parmi de beaux animaux.
It's a beautiful animal among beautiful animals.


Regarde ces vieux hommes et ces vieilles femmes.
Look at these old men and these old women.


Yvette est belle, mais Leila et Belinda sont très belles.
Yvette is beautiful, but Leila and Belinda are very beautiful.


Ce vieil arbre est à côté de ces vieux arbres.
This old tree is next to these old trees.


Tom est beau, mais Henri et Bob sont très beaux.
Tom is handsome, but Henri and Bob are very handsome.


Mon nouvel ami s'entend bien avec mes nouveaux amis.
My new friend gets along with my new friends.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 13 answers

BrianA2Kwiziq community member

Video problem

It cuts out just after one minute and a few seconds - I was just getting into it too

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Brian, 

The video link has been fixed, so you can watch it ...

CécileKwiziq team member

Thanks for letting us know Brian, it has been reported...

Video problem

It cuts out just after one minute and a few seconds - I was just getting into it too

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WhiteA2Kwiziq community member

Rule for Nouns beginning with H

Please confirm.  The masculine forms bel, nouvel and vieil are used before a noun that begins with a VOWEL.  This rule does not apply to a noun that begins with an H?  Par exemple:  Regarde ces vieux hommes.  Merci.

Asked 7 months ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Also, as explained in the lesson, that rule doesn't apply to plural nouns:

The masculine forms bel, nouvel and vieil (when in front of a vowel) become the regular masculine plural beaux, nouveaux and vieux.

The point is that the "x" can be pronounced if necessary, as in the case of "vieux hommes".

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Unfortunately, this question has no black and white answer, because there are to versions of "h": h aspiré and h muet.

The h aspiré counts as a consonant, which means that there are no contractions with it. Words that fall into that category are, for example: le héros, le hamster, le hasard, ....

H muet, on the other hand is moot (=muet) and therefore contracts: l'hôtel, l'herbe, l'histoire, ...

Here is a list of words for a start: http://www.aidenet.eu/grammaire01ac.htm

WhiteA2Kwiziq community member

Merci Alan.  So singular:  le vieil homme.  Pluaral:  les vieux hommes.

Rule for Nouns beginning with H

Please confirm.  The masculine forms bel, nouvel and vieil are used before a noun that begins with a VOWEL.  This rule does not apply to a noun that begins with an H?  Par exemple:  Regarde ces vieux hommes.  Merci.

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JohnA2Kwiziq community member

C'est un bel animal parmi de beaux animaux.

In the example,

C'est un bel animal parmi de beaux animaux.

why is the 'de' not plural for 'des', as we are talking about 'some beautiful animals'?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi John,

It is a little grammatical rule which is explained in the following lesson -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/use-de-d-instead-of-des-in-front-of-adjectives-preceding-nouns-partitive-article

Hope this helps!

C'est un bel animal parmi de beaux animaux.

In the example,

C'est un bel animal parmi de beaux animaux.

why is the 'de' not plural for 'des', as we are talking about 'some beautiful animals'?

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JanetB1Kwiziq community member

from before

Is this right

Les nouveaux voisins sont arrives.

Les nouvelles voisines sont arrives.

Sorry I can't work the accent for arrives.

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

You need to accord the participle to the subject:

Les nouveaux voisins sont arrivés.
Les nouvelles voisines sont arrivées.

JanetB1Kwiziq community member
Thanks Chris.

from before

Is this right

Les nouveaux voisins sont arrives.

Les nouvelles voisines sont arrives.

Sorry I can't work the accent for arrives.

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JanetB1Kwiziq community member

Good Morning Teachers and helpers. I have a question about neighbours in the feminine plural.

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
See answer to this question in your next post.

Good Morning Teachers and helpers. I have a question about neighbours in the feminine plural.

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AnneA2Kwiziq community member

Pourquoi il n'est pas 'J'ai acheté des nouveaux bowls et des nouvelles assiettes?'

Asked 2 years ago
AnneA2Kwiziq community member
Sorry bols not bowls spell checker can't cope with French spelling! Nor would it embolden each 'des'.
SarC1Kwiziq community member
Je crois que "des" devient "de" devant les adjectifs que se placent devant le nom? Peut-être je me trompe.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Anne ! Sar is right, and here is a link to our related lesson: Using ''de / d' '' instead of 'des' in front of adjectives preceding nouns (partitive article) À bientôt !

Pourquoi il n'est pas 'J'ai acheté des nouveaux bowls et des nouvelles assiettes?'

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MatthewC1Kwiziq community member

Is it 'nouveaux araignees' rather than 'nouvelles araignees' ?

(feminine noun starts with a vowel)
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Matthew, No, you're a bit mixed up. Per the note at the bottom of the lesson: "The masculine forms bel, nouvel and vieil (when in front of a vowel) become the regular masculine plural beaux, nouveaux and vieux." Feminine nouns always use their feminine forms; it's only singular masculine ones that have the special form.

Is it 'nouveaux araignees' rather than 'nouvelles araignees' ?

(feminine noun starts with a vowel)

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