Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is-- How do you use adjectives as nouns?
In French, we can omit the noun and use the adjective as the noun.
Does that sound confusing? Let’s do some examples.
Let’s say you’re at a furniture store and you want to buy a chair. If we’re looking at a bunch of different colored chairs, we can use la chaise bleue to refer to “the blue chair.” However, in this case, we’ve already mentioned the chairs and their colors, so we can just say la bleue, which means, “the blue one.”
By using an article with an adjective, you can make it a noun. In this case, we used la because la chaise, “the chair,” is feminine. Then, we added the feminine adjective, bleue, to make la bleue, to stand for “the blue chair.”
Likewise, if you’re discussing different colored hats, you’d use the masculine noun chapeaux. That means we have to change la to the masculine article le and change bleue to bleu to match. Then, if you would like to buy the blue hat, you would say, Le bleu, s’il vous plaît. “The blue one, please.”
Superlatives can also become nouns in French. Apart from the direct translation of “the best,” which is le meilleur or la meilleure, you can use any adjective, plus an article, plus either plus for “most” or moins for “least” to make a superlative sentence.
Plus on its own means “more,” but with an article, it means “most.” Take le plus grand, for example. Grand means “big.” So le grand means “the big one,” in general. But, if you said, le plus grand, that means, “the biggest one.”
Similarly to plus, moins, means “less” on its own but “least” with an article. La moins vite, for example, literally means, “the least fast one” or, more naturally, “the slowest.” It’s important to note that because we use la in this sentence, we know that we’re talking about a feminine noun. If we were talking about a masculine noun, the sentence would be Le moins vite and mean the same thing.
Pretty neat, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments!
A bientôt, see you soon!