La place des adjectifs

French Grammar (see all)

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La place des adjectifs

For the most part, adjectives are placed after the noun.
Une maison bleue a blue house
Un film étranger a foreign film

However, we put the adjective before the noun when describing the following:

•  Beauty
Une jolie femme a pretty woman
De beaux bébés some beautiful babies

•  Age
Un vieil homme an old man
Des nouvelles chaussures some new shoes

•  Things we can count
La deuxième fois the second time
Le dernier métro the last metro

•  Things that are qualified as good or bad
Un mauvais souvenir Aa bad memory
La meilleure idée the best idea

•  Size
Une grande maison a large house
Une minuscule erreur a tiny mistake

Notes:

•  Adjectives with more than three syllables are always placed after the noun.
Un film extraordinaire an amazing film
Un parfum malodorant a foul smell

•  Some adjectives change their meaning according to their placement.
Un grand homme a grand/illustrious man and un homme grand a large man (note: the change in the meaning of grand only applies when describing people)
La semaine dernière last week and la dernière semaine the final week (there won’t be others afterwards)


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