I was confused about the usage of beau/bel/belle and other similarly formed words. I thought I'd share my findings for others who were also a little perplexed by this:

masc. + consonant: beau, fou, mou, nouveau, vieux

masc. + vowel or h+vowel: bel, fol, mol, nouvel, vieil

fem. + consonant/vowel: belle, folle, molle, nouvelle, vieille

eg. un beau monsieur est un bel homme, dit la belle femme

Correct me if I'm mistaken! :)

June 12, 2012


Yes, that is correct.

June 12, 2012

To clarify, it's the sound at the beginning of the word that matters with the masculine nouns, not the letter. Homme obviously starts with a consonant, but because it's a vowel sound "beau homme" would be awkward to say, so bel is used.

August 12, 2012

Shouldn't it depend on if the 'h' is H aspiré or H muet ? Like <<Beau homard>>

May 13, 2013

Yes. The H muet is considered as a vowel sound and the H aspiré is considered as a consonant sound.

November 9, 2013

Ah, the light bulb just went on! Thank you, thank you for clarifying that.

October 21, 2013

thanks a lot : )

September 15, 2013

That was enlightening! :D Thanks! :D

December 9, 2013

Thank you for this!! :D

September 10, 2017
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