How to say "new" in French? Neuf vs nouveau ?

Neuf vs nouveau

French has two words for "new" : neuf and nouveau. The choice of the word depends on the context. 

Neuf (New)

Neuf (adjective) describes an object that is brand new (unused). It usually comes after the noun.

For example:

C'est un cahier neuf. (It's a brand new notebook.)

J'ai acheté un matelas neuf. (I bought a brand new mattress.)


*Neuf agrees with the noun it qualifies.

For example:

Elle vient d'acheter une maison neuve. (She just bought a new house.)


Here are the all forms of neuf:

Masculine  Feminine
Singular Neuf Neuve
Plural Neufs Neuves

Nouveau (New)

Nouveau (adjective) describes objects, places, persons or situations that are new to the speaker. It comes before the noun.

For example:

J'ai trouvé un nouveau café. (I found a new café.)


*Like neuf, nouveau also agrees with the noun.

For example:

Tu aimes ta nouvelle voiture? (Do you like your new car?)


Here are the all forms of nouveau:

Masculine  Feminine
Singular Nouveau Nouvelle
Plural Nouveaux Nouvelles


***Nouvel is used for masculine nouns starting with a vowel or the silent letter h. 

Ex: nouvel ami


Complete the sentences below using the right form of neuf or nouveau. (Check your answers below)

1) Comment tu as trouvé ton ____ appartement?

2) Ils ont renouvelé leur _____ maison.

3) Ma mère m'a acheté un pull ____.

4) Mes _____ collègues sont très sympas.

5) Cette idée est ____ pour nous.


Answer key

1) Nouvel

2) Nouvelle

3) Neuf

4) Nouveaux

5) Nouvelle

Check out my book Don't mix them up to learn the differences between the most confusing French word pairs


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