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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 verre
the beautiful glass   (masculine)

Le bel arbre
the beautiful tree    (masculine)

 

Notice 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

La belle fille 
 the beautiful girl (feminine)


C'est une vieille dame.
She's an old lady



C'est un vieil homme
He's an old man



Le bel arbre
the beautiful tree    (masculine)


Le beau verre
the beautiful glass   (masculine)


C'est un vieux sac.
It's an old bag.    (masculine)


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