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Forming the feminine of adjectives ending in -c

Look at these adjectives:

Mon stylo blanc va avec ma jupe blanche.
My white pen goes with my white skirt.

Un sourire franc est le signe d'une personne franche.
A frank smile is the sign of a frank person.

Dans un jardin public, je vois une ovation publique.
In a public garden, I see a public ovation.

Je connais un homme turc et une femme turque.
I know a Turkish man and a Turkish woman.

Notice that adjectives ending in -c usually become -che in the feminine form, when the -c is mute in the masculine form.

If we hear the -c in the masculine, then it usually becomes -que in the feminine form, to keep the pronunciation.
In the case of grec (Greek), you actually keep the c and add que : grecque.

Je mange un yaourt grec dans une maison grecque.
I eat a Greek yogurt in a Greek house.



ATTENTION: for each rule its exception! Here it's sec (dry), you hear the 'c' in the masculine form, and yet its feminine is sèche.

Mon manteau est sec mais ma serviette n'est pas sèche.
My coat is dry but my towel is not dry.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Un sourire franc est le signe d'une personne franche.
A frank smile is the sign of a frank person.


Mon stylo blanc va avec ma jupe blanche.
My white pen goes with my white skirt.



Mon manteau est sec mais ma serviette n'est pas sèche.
My coat is dry but my towel is not dry.


exception


Je mange un yaourt grec dans une maison grecque.
I eat a Greek yogurt in a Greek house.


Je connais un homme turc et une femme turque.
I know a Turkish man and a Turkish woman.


Dans un jardin public, je vois une ovation publique.
In a public garden, I see a public ovation.


Q&A

Nigel

Kwiziq community member

21 November 2017

2 replies

English translation of "une ovation publique".

I wonder about the colloquial English translation of "une ovation publique". " A public ovation" is not a phrase which I have ever seen used, and for which I can't find an example on the internet. "Ovation" in English is almost universally used as a "standing ovation" for which the French appears to be "une ovation debout".

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 November 2017

21/11/17

The term "standing ovation" is certainly more often heard but "public ovation" is not unheard of.

Nigel

Kwiziq community member

21 November 2017

21/11/17

Claus, many thanks!!
Do you have some examples? I've not heard it before in English.

duo

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2017

1 reply

No liaison between "et" and "une"

Why is the "t" in "et" silent when it precedes the vowel sound in "une" in ,"Je connais un homme turc et une femme turque."

Ron

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2017

1/10/17

Bonjour Duo,
There are certain words in French where the liaison is omitted in the oral and this is one of those:
Forbidden liaison
Finally, certain liaisons are impossible:

1) after et ("and") - which allows it to be distinguished from est ("is") in speech.
2) after the silent final consonant of a singular common noun: coup X intéressant ("interesting deed"), rat X énorme ("enormous rat") - which allows a distinction between a noun and an adjective: un précieux‿insolent is a precious insolent person, while un précieux X insolent is an insolent member of the fr:préciosité literary movement.
3) after verbs with the second-person singular ending -es : tu manges X en paix ("you eat in peace"); the ending is elided instead.
4) before a word beginning with an "aspirated h": les X haricots (green beans), ils X halètent ("they are gasping"). (Note that even the so-called "aspirated h" is not actually pronounced in modern French.) In the regulated language, hiatus is required here. In everyday registers, this phenomenon is frequently omitted, especially with little-known words.
5) before certain words that start with vowels, such as onze ("eleven"), un when used to mean "one," and oui ("yes").
There are other rules of liaisons, i.e. obligatory liaison, optional liaison, etc.

J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet

duo

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2017

1 reply

Why is the "s" in "vois" silent in,"Dans un jardin public, je vois une ovation publique.".

Ron

Kwiziq community member

1 October 2017

1/10/17

Bonjour Duo,
Generally, when speaking French, the final consonant is always silent, one exception are words ending in the letter «x» which is generally pronounced, i.e. six, dix, etc. If you are not involved in a conversation French class, I suggest that you try to locate one to enroll in so you can have the practice speaking and listening to French as it is meant to be spoken. That being said, the Alliance Française has chapters in many large cities throughout the US, Canada and Europe; also a lot of colleges and universities offer non-credit courses for adults and some of those have French conversation classes. There is also the option of private French lessons with a native French speaker; however, this is by far the most costly on a per hour basis.
Bonne chance

Antonios

Kwiziq community member

16 February 2016

1 reply

sec -> sèche (not secque?)

In sec I can hear the -c but according to an exercise it falls in the first case and becomes sèche. Is it an exception or is the masculine -c not really heard that much? Merci

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 February 2016

17/02/16

Bonjour Antonios,


You are correct: "sec" is indeed an exception, as you do pronounce the 'c' but the feminine still is "sèche".


That lesson needed some cleaning up, and it's now been updated to include more explanation.


Please have a look:


https://www.french-test.com/revision/grammar/how-to-form-the-feminine-of-adjectives-ending-in-c-forming-feminine-adjectives


Merci !

Thinking...