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Position of French adjectives: How to place French adjectives correctly

Lesson Dec 30, 2022

Most French adjectives go after the noun they describe. Other come before the noun. Their are also adjectives that can both come before or go the after the noun, depending on the context.

French adjectives that go after the noun

Most French adjectives, including those that describe colors, nationalities, and shapes, always go after the nouns they describe.


Une fille intelligente

An intelligent girl

Une voiture blanche

A white car

Other adjectives that follow the same rule:

Adjectives meaning
anglais. English
Français. French
Drôle funny
Laid ugly
Méchant wicked
Intéressant interesting
Délicieux delicious

French adjective that comes before the noun

Some French adjectives including those that refer to Age, exception âge. Beauty, exception laid. Goodness, exception méchant.

Size and Ordinal numbers come before the noun.


Une jolie fille

A pretty girl

Un jeune garçon

A young man

Other adjectives:

Adjectives meaning
Petit small, little
Vieux old
Premier first
Mauvais bad, poor
Bon good
Grand tall, big, long, great
Gros fat, big
Beau beautiful, handsome
Court short
Nouveau new

Adjectives that can either come before or go after the noun.

Some adjectives can come before or go after the noun. Their correct position would depend on the meaning the speaker wants to convey.

List of adjectives that follow this rule:

Adjectives before the noun after the noun
Ancien former antique
Certain some sure
Cher dear expensive
Grand great tall
Pauvre unfortunate poor
Propre my own clean
Seul only/single lonely, alone


Un homme grand

A tall man

Cher ami

Dear friend

Une maison chère

An expensive house

Using more than one adjective

Like English, a noun can be described using more than one adjective.

Adjectives that are joined with et

If both adjectives usually go after the noun, they are joined with et meaning and.


Un film intéressant et drôle

An interesting and funny film

Une maison blanche et bleue

A white and blue house

Adjectives that maintain their position

When one adjective comes before the noun (E.g joli) and another comes after the noun (E.g intelligent), they maintain their position when used together.


Une jeune fille intelligente

A young and intelligent girl



I write about English and French, how to apply them professionally and in social encounters.