Beauty, elegance, and romance are the heart of the French language. France is filled with so much beauty to appreciate that a learner must learn to say beautiful in French.
Knowing the word beautiful might not be as crucial as hello or good morning. Still, it is always good to know it to complement the magnificence of things in the language of French people.
“Beautiful” is one of the most common words in French and is highly used to complement things, people, food, & more.
But using this word in French is more complex than using English. You need to learn French alternatives, usage and other important translations.
Thus today, we bring you this article that will guide you in learning the word beautiful in French language.
How Do You Say Beautiful In French Language?
There is more than one French word used to say beautiful or describe beauty in French. “Beau” and “Belle” are the most commonly used words for saying beautiful in the romantic language of France.
“Beau” is the most common of all words and is the masculine singular form. And it is used to describe masculine singular words.
- Le beau garçon = the beautiful boy
- Le beau oiseau = the beautiful couch
- Le beau voyage = the beautiful trip
And the other one is “Belle,” a feminine singular form for the word beautiful. And it is used to describe feminine singular words.
- La belle robe = the beautiful dress
- La belle soirée = the beautiful evening
- La belle maison= the beautiful house
Beau/Belle- The Classics
Both beau & belle are the French alternatives for the word ‘beautiful,’ with the former being used for talking about a masculine noun and the latter for talking about a feminine noun.
Both beau & belle are the only direct French translation of the word “beautiful.” There sure are other words, but these two are the only words literally meaning it.
Saying beautiful in this romantic language of France is just as similar to English. You are either saying it to someone directly or complimenting someone or something generally.
- You can say “Tu es belle” meaning “you are beautiful,” but you can say it only to a woman.
- And you can say “Tu es beau,” which means “you are beautiful,” but you can say it only to a man.
And if you want to sound formal when complimenting someone. In that case, you can say “Vous êtes belle” to a woman and “Vous êtes beau” to a man, with both phrases meaning “you are beautiful.”
How To Position Beau & Belle In The Sentence?
In French, most adjectives go after the nouns they are describing. However, belle and beau, along with their plural forms, are always placed before nouns within a sentence.
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It is a crucial thing to remember to ensure you are not a laughing stock or tank your DELF exams.
- une belle dame- a beautiful lady
- un beau bébé- a beautiful baby
Please understand that you can never say something like “une bell efille ” to say, “you are beautiful.”
It will be wrong, and you will make a bad impression in front of natives & other French speakers.
Plural Forms of Beau & Belle
In French, the regular adjectives, when put into the plural form, usually get an “-s” added at the end, similar to the English.
However, this rule holds true for one of our beautiful French phrases/words, while the other comes with a different set of rules.
When you use ‘belle’ in its plural form, you add ‘-s’ at the end of it. This French word for the English word ‘beautiful’ always follows this rule when modifying plural feminine nouns.
- une belle plante- a beautiful plant
- de belles plantes- beautiful plants
When you use ‘beau’ in its plural form with plural masculine nouns, you do not add an ‘-s’ at the end but rather an ‘-x’.
- un beau jardin- a beautiful garden
- de beaux jardins- beautiful gardens
Please remember that this is not an exception for using ‘beau.’ It follows the French grammar rule where all the words ending with “-eau” are pluralized with ‘-x’ at the ending.
Use Adverbs with Beau & Belle
If you pair an adverb with either belle or beau, the structure of the sentence changes. It is slightly different from how they are generally used.
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So, instead of placing these words before a noun like in the normal sentence formation, these adjective phrases go after the noun when used with adverbs.
- Un pays trop beau = a very beautiful country
- Une fille extrêmement belle = an extremely beautiful girl
There are only two exceptions to this rule: the ‘très’ & ‘beau.’ They both, when combined with adverbs, always stay before the noun.
- Un très beau tigre = a very beautiful tiger
- Une très belle ville = a very beautiful city
What Is The Difference Between Beau & Belle?
Both belle & beau are adjectives that mean beautiful & handsome in French.
You can use these adjectives to describe a person or an object in a simpler manner.
However, before using them, you need o determine the gender of the noun, as one is used for masculine & other for feminine.
Beau is used for masculine and belle for feminine. It means you can say ‘you are beautiful’ to anyone and use belle or beau based on the gender the other person identifies as.
- Tu es belle- You are beautiful. (addressing a woman)
- Tu es beau- You are handsome/beautiful. (addressing a man)
This is all easy when talking about a person. But things get a little trickier when using these adjectives with objects.
You need to know the gender of your words to properly construct a sentence in French.
- La chambre → La belle chambre (the beautiful room)
- Le désert → Le beau désert (the beautiful desert)
- Le paon → Le beau paon (the beautiful peacock)
- La plage → La belle plage (the beautiful beach)
- L’île → La belle île (the beautiful island)
What Is The Difference Between Beau & Bel?
“Bel” is another French word used to describe a French masculine noun. However, its usage comes with an exception.
You can use it with a singular masculine noun only when the noun succeeding it starts with a vowel or with a mute “h”.
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The French language does not like using two vowels together as it sounds a bit awkward for native speakers.
- C’est un beau ami (Wrong) – C’est un bel ami (Right)
- C’est un beau homme (Wrong) – C’est un bel homme (Right)
- C’est un beau enfant (Wrong) – C’est un bel enfant (Right)
In other words, ‘bel’ is a substitute for ‘beau,’ which is used when beau & a noun starting with a vowel or a mute “h” come together in a sentence.
Do not confuse ‘bel’ with ‘belle’ as ‘bel’ is a substitute for ‘beau’ & used with masculine nouns, while ‘belle’ is used with feminine nouns.
Explore 4 Different Ways To Say Beautiful In French
There are a few other ways to tell someone they are very beautiful in French. Beau & Belle are the most used adjectives for the task, but sometimes you need a word to describe your meaning in a better way.
Here we have four stylish alternatives to belle & beau that can convey your feelings equally brilliantly.
If you are wondering about the French word for pretty, it is ‘Joli.’ You can use this word to describe people, mostly women & girls, but also anything that is comprised to be called pretty in English.
This word has both masculine & feminine forms. ‘Joli’ is used for male nouns, and ‘Jolie’ is used for female nouns.
Both the forms are used before the noun it describes, and each plural form has an ‘-s’ at the end.
- Elle est trop jolie ta robe.- Your dress is too pretty.
- J’ai acheté de jolies jupes.- I bought some pretty skirts.
- Tu as de jolis tableaux.- You have some pretty paintings.
If you desire to tell someone they are very handsome, pretty or gorgeous in the French language, ‘canon’ is the word for it.
It is an expression that highly emphasizes the adjective you use to describe a person.
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This word is used to describe males, females, and adults. It always remains in the same form, and no ‘e’ or ‘s’ is added in its plural or feminine form.
Like most French adjectives, this one is also placed after the noun.
- La voisine est canon.- The neighboor is very hot.
- C’est qui, cet homme canon?- Who is this good-looking man?
The French meaning of the word ‘mignon’ is ‘cute.’ You can use this adjective when discussing children, babies, and objects.
‘Mignon’ is the male form of the adjective, while ‘Mignonne’ is the female form. Plus, both these forms use an ‘-s’ in the plural version.
And this adjective is also used after the noun it is describing.
- Ton chat est trop mignon.- Your cat is too cute.
- Tes nièces sont mignonnes.- Your nieces are cute.
“Ravissant” is the French equivalent of ravishing or gorgeous in English. It is another French word to describe someone or something beautiful.
It is usually used in French when someone gets dressed up and puts more effort than usual into their appearance.
Using this word for someone will have them flattered for sure.
Similar to the other three adjectives, this one also has masculine & feminine forms. ‘Ravissant’ is the masculine form & ‘Ravissante’ is the feminine form, and both are placed after the noun.
Also, both forms add an ‘-s’ in their plural versions.
- Tu es ravissante.- You look ravishing.
- Quelle robe ravissante!- What a gorgeous dress!
- Je trouve la mariée ravissante.- I find the bride lovely.
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The fact that ‘beau’ represents the masculine version of ‘beautiful’ in French and ‘belle’ represents the feminine version is easy to comprehend.
However, things get complicated when they are used in a sentence as an adjective.
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There are other ways to say beautiful in French than beau/belle/bell. They might not exactly mean beautiful, but they convey the same feeling & idea.
Check out the ten words that allow you to say you are beautiful in French.
- Belle – Beautiful (feminine object or person)
- Beau – Handsome (masculine object or person)
- Joli – Pretty or attractive
- Mignon – Cute
- Ravissant – Delightful
- Canon – Good-looking
- Adorable – Lovely
- Magnifique – Gorgeous
- Splendide – Splendid
- Sublime – Sublime
Top FAQs About How Do You Say Beautiful In French
How to say so beautiful in French?
If you want to tell someone, “You are so beautiful,” in French, the right phrase is “si beau/belle.”
- Nous partageons de si beaux souvenirs. -We share such beautiful memories.
What is the French word for the beautiful soul?
There are times when you want to compliment people for who they are as a person, not their looks or personality.
For that, the most common way to compliment someone is to tell them they have a beautiful soul.
You can say it to someone in French with the help of the phrase “belle âme.”
- Vous avez une belle âme- You have a beautiful soul.
What do you call a beautiful woman in French?
The right French phrase to call a woman beautiful in French is “Belle Femme.”
You can use the phrase all by itself or use it in a sentence to make the compliment more directed towards the person so they can acknowledge it.
- Vous êtes une belle femme- You are a beautiful woman.
French people are not a big fan of flattery, but using it every now & then is not a bad idea.
While you do not want to exaggerate your emotions, complimenting things can be subtle by learning the meaning of the word beautiful in French.
We hope this guide helps you with the right way to use ‘beau’ & ‘belle’ & compliment others without making a mistake.
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Le beau oiseau = the beautiful couch
Can the couch fly?