Adjectives after personne, rien, tout le monde, quelqu'un are always masculine

Look at these four cases:

Rien n'est gratuit
Nothing is free

Personne n'est heureux.
No-one is happy.

Tout le monde est joli.
Everyone is pretty.

Quelqu'un est petit.
Someone is small.

Notice that adjectives (describing words) following rien (nothing), personne (nobody), tout le monde (everybody), quelqu'un (someone), are always in the masculine form, even if what they describe is feminine.

BUT Une personne is feminine, so Une personne est heureuse.

 

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

personne


Personne n'est heureux.
No-one is happy.


quelqu'un


Quelqu'un est petit.
Someone is small.


rien


Rien n'est gratuit
Nothing is free


tout le monde


Tout le monde est joli.
Everyone is pretty.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 5 answers

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

plural for personne...not plural for tout le monde?

Bonjour.  In the above examples, I see personne n'est heureux.  The lesson does not talk about plurality I do not think.

In the quiz, now I can't remember, but I may or may not have used a singular masculine word.  Do you have any extra information as plurality in this lesson?  Merci.  

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi robin, 

There is no plural for ‘rien’ , ‘personne’ , ‘tout le monde’ , you are probably thinking of words like aucun, certain which agree in gender and number  ? 

Quelqu’un however can become quelques-uns and in this case you could have a plural -

Quelques-uns vont venir vous voir = A few people are going to come to see you

Hope this helps!

Robin asked:View original

plural for personne...not plural for tout le monde?

Bonjour.  In the above examples, I see personne n'est heureux.  The lesson does not talk about plurality I do not think.

In the quiz, now I can't remember, but I may or may not have used a singular masculine word.  Do you have any extra information as plurality in this lesson?  Merci.  

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BlakeC1Kwiziq community member

How about plurality?

Does this lesson imply anything about the singularity/plurality of adjectives following these pronouns?
Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
They are generally singular.
BlakeC1Kwiziq community member
Is that worth putting in the lesson itself?

How about plurality?

Does this lesson imply anything about the singularity/plurality of adjectives following these pronouns?

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JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

tout le monde est nouveau? Why not nouvel

I seem to vaguely remember that there are two ways of talking about new, depending on how new the object is. Here I used nouvel but the correct answer was nouvel? Can anyone enlighten me?
Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Jennifer, nouvel is used for the masculine form only when it's followed by a vowel or mute h.

More info here:
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/beau-nouveau-vieux-fou-mou-two-masculine-and-one-feminine-form

 

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

As Gruff said, "nouvel" is used for the male form when it starts with a vowel or silent h. When you talk about the two forms of "new" you probably mean nouveau/nouvelle vs. neuf/neuve. 

"Ma nouvelle voiture" is a car that is new to you but not newly made. 

"Ma voiture neuve" is a car hot off the assembly line. 

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

tout le monde est nouveau? Why not nouvel

I seem to vaguely remember that there are two ways of talking about new, depending on how new the object is. Here I used nouvel but the correct answer was nouvel? Can anyone enlighten me?

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