Interrogative adjectives are one of the many adjectives we use in French. These adjectives are used to ask questions, as the name signifies. To make questions with these adjectives, we change the adjective according to gender and number. There are 4 interrogative adjectives, namely, quel, quelle, quels, quelles. All of these sound exactly the same. 

In this article, we will provide explanations, examples, and guidelines for using interrogative adjectives.

What is Interrogative Adjectives?

There are 4 interrogative adjectives, namely, quel, quelle, quels, quelles. All of these sound exactly the same. The English equivalent is “which”, where we do not have to do the “accord” (Subject-verb agreement). 

We can simply refer to interrogative adjectives by saying “Quel”. 

Characteristics of Interrogative Adjectives

We will now look at some characteristics of Interrogative Adjectives. 

  • Used in place of an article, not with one.

The interrogative adjectives are used as articles. We can not say “quel un livre ?” We say “quel livre” (Which book?). This “quel” signifies the gender and number of the noun. In this case, we can see that it is a singular masculine object. 

  • Placement directly in front of a noun.

It is placed before the noun. 

  • Agreement with the noun in gender and number.

While using interrogative adjectives, the adjective must agree with the noun. If the nous is –

Singular and feminine, use quelle 

Singular and Masculine, use quel 

Plural and feminine, use quelles

Plural and masculine, use quel

French Interrogative Adjectives 

  • Introduce the four forms of interrogative adjectives: Masculine singular, Masculine plural, Feminine singular, and Feminine plural.
  • Provide examples of each form.
    • Singular: quel, quelle
    • Plural: quels, quelles

There are 4 interrogative adjectives

Adjectives in French Gender/quantity
QuelMale, singulier
QuelleFemale, singulier
QuelsMale, pluriel
QuellesFemale, pluriel

Following are a few examples-

Interrogative AdjectiveTranslation
Quelle livre?Which book?
Quelle fille?Which girl?
Quelle femme?Which woman?
Quel garçon?Which boy?
Quel monument?Which monument?
Quel école?Which school?
Quel stylo?Which pen?
Quel jardin?Which garden?

Interrogative adjectives are used to form questions. It is in the name. 

Moreover, we can make other questions by adding some words like “est-ce que” or verb “être”

Examples with “est-ce que” and Inversion.

With “est-ce que”, we can make closed questions (questions fermées). Following are a few examples. There is also the inversion of the same questions. 

Quel couleur est-ce que tu préfères ?
Quel couleur préfères-tu ? 

Which colour do you prefer ? 
Quel travail est-ce qu’ils font ?
Quel travail font-ils ?

What work do they do? 

Examples with “être” 

We can make questions with “quel” by adding the être verb also. Look at the following examples to know how. 

Quel est ton prénom?What is your first name? 
Quel sont vos projets? What are your projects?

Informal Usage with the Adjective and Noun at the End of the Question

These are informal questions which shouldn’t be used in a formal context. These questions do not follow the conventional ways of asking questions. Look at the following examples 

  • Vous préférez quelle cuisine? You prefer which cuisine? 
  • Il conduit quelle voiture? He drives which car?

To make the same questions formal, we change the placement of “quel”. For example, 

  • Quelle cuisine préférez vous? (Which cuisine do you prefer?)
  • Quelle voiture conduit-il? (What car does he drive?)

Set Phrases 

In general, we can make a happy expression by using the following rule:

‘Quel’ + noun 

For example: Quelle belle fille! 

This phrase translates to “What a beautiful girl!” 

We can use this rule to denote amusement. Moreover, there are a lot of expressions and sayings in French which use “quel”. Following are a few of them 

Quel temps!How pleasant/gloomyUsed to express joy in case of good weather or disgust in case of bad weather. 
Quelle horreur!How awful!Used to express astonishment or shock.
Quelle chance! How lucky!Happy expression denoting good luck.

Comparison with Interrogative Pronouns 

Interrogative pronouns (les pronoms interrogatifs) are qui, que, quoi and lequel. We use them in questions and sentences to replace the name of the person or thing about which we’re asking a question. One can get confused amongst lequel and quel. 

Quel is an adjective and lequel is a pronoun. The latter can replace a noun or pronoun, and “quel” is in front of a noun. 

Lequel is used for choices with many options. For example, lesquels de ces films veux-tu voir? (Which of these films do you want to see?)

On the other hand, we use quel to ask a question, we do not give options. For example, Quel film veux-tu vois ? (Which film do you want to see?)


As a grammar topic, “interrogative adjectives” is a small and easy topic and doesn’t have a lot of confusing things to remember. A lot of students make the mistake of not giving enough importance to it. It is a simple subject. Master it and move on. The most important part of interrogative adjectives is making simple questions with quel, quelle, quelles, quels. 

As a language learner, it is essential to practice all topics regularly in order to not forget them. Watching news, reading news can be very helpful. Some YouTube videos have french debates, which are very interesting too.  

Moreover, having regular sessions with a teacher can help to practice regularly too. La Forêt French classes have such sessions with experienced teachers. Contact us to know more about our courses. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the 4 types of Quel in French? 

There are 4 interrogative adjectives

Adjectives in French Gender/quantity
QuelMale, singulier
QuelleFemale, singulier
QuelsMale, pluriel
QuellesFemale, pluriel

How to use quel and quelle? 

Quel is the masculine and singular form of interrogative adjectives. Use quel to make questions like “quel livre?”

On the other hand, quelle is the feminine singular form. Use quelle to form questions like “quelle maison?”