Exclamative Adjectives

Definition: Exclamative adjectives are placed in front of nouns to express admiration, astonishment, indignation, or another strong sentiment.

French exclamative adjectives take the exact same form as interrogative adjectives:

MASC. quel quels
FEM. quelle quelles

Example in French:
Quel homme intelligent ! What a smart man!
Quelle catastrophe ! What a catastrophe!
Quelles bonnes idées ! What good ideas!
Note: An exclamative adjective expresses a strong emotion about the noun which follows, while an interrogative adjective asks a question about the noun.
The exclamative adjective exclaims:
Quel livre ! What a book !
The interrogative adjective interrogates:
Quel livre ? Which book ?
French Exclamative Adverbs

Exclamative adverbs are placed in front of clauses to indicate shock, disbelief, awe, or some other strong emotion felt by the speaker. There are five French exclamative adverbs:
  • comme
  • que
  • qu'est-ce que
  • ce que
  • combien
Comme means "how," though many English speakers would likely reword the sentence to use "so" instead:
Comme il fait beau !
How beautiful the weather is! The weather is so beautiful !

Comme c'est difficile !
How difficult it is! It's so difficult !

Comme tu es grand !
How tall you are! You're so tall !
Que is more or less interchangeable with comme:
Qu'il fait beau !
How beautiful the weather is !

Que c'est difficile !
How difficult it is !

Que tu es grand !
How tall you are !
Que de is used in front of nouns:
Que de monde !
So many people !

Que de difficultés !
So many problems !
Informally, qu'est-ce que and ce que can replace comme and que:
Qu'est-ce qu'il fait beau ! Ce qu'il fait beau!
The weather is so beautiful !

Qu'est-ce que c'est difficile ! Ce que c'est difficile !
It's so difficult !

Qu'est-ce que tu es grand ! Ce que tu es grand !
You're so tall !
Combien means "how much/many" or "so much/many" and may be followed by a clause, an adverb, or de + noun:
Combien il a changé !
How he has changed ! (He's changed so much!)

Combien en a-t-on vus !
How many we saw ! (We saw so many!)

Combien de fois ne lui a-t-on pas répété !
How many times have we told him !

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