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French, often referred to as the language of love, is abundant in descriptive words that capture various shades of emotions and descriptions. Adjectives, in particular, play a vital role in this, allowing speakers to convey their feelings and observations with nuance and precision. Whether you’re talking about a person, the weather, or an object, there’s always a perfect French adjective to suit the situation. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the most popular French adjectives and provide context on how to use them effectively.

Positive French Adjectives to Describe a Person

If you want to compliment someone or express admiration, these adjectives are perfect. They encapsulate positive qualities that are universally acknowledged.

French English
Joli(e) Pretty
Intelligent(e) Smart
Gentil(le) Kind
Courageux(se) Brave
Drôle Funny
Charmant(e) Charming
Passionné(e) Passionate
Créatif(ve) Creative
Énergique Energetic
Motivé(e) Motivated


  1. Marie est une fille jolie et intelligente. (Marie is a pretty and smart girl.)
  2. Lucas est toujours gentil avec tout le monde. (Lucas is always kind to everyone.)
  3. Elle admire les personnes courageuses. (She admires brave people.)
  4. Tu es vraiment drôle aujourd’hui! (You are really funny today!)

Negative French Adjectives to Describe a Person

French English
Méchant(e) Mean
Paresseux(se) Lazy
Égoïste Selfish
Ennuyeux(se) Boring
Têtu(e) Stubborn
Lourd(e) Annoying
Impoli(e) Rude
Faible Weak
Maladroit(e) Clumsy
Distant(e) Aloof

While it’s always better to focus on the positives, there are times when one might need to use negative adjectives. These words can help describe challenges or issues someone might be facing.


  1. Il ne faut pas être égoïste dans une relation. (One shouldn’t be selfish in a relationship.)
  2. Mon frère est un peu paresseux le matin. (My brother is a bit lazy in the morning.)
  3. Elle est têtue mais elle a bon cœur. (She is stubborn, but she has a good heart.)

French Adjectives to Describe Weather

French English
Ensoleillé Sunny
Nuageux Cloudy
Pluvieux Rainy
Orageux Stormy
Ventilé Windy
Froid Cold
Chaud Hot
Humide Humid
Sec Dry
Glacial Freezing

Describing the weather is often a common topic of conversation. These adjectives can help you convey the exact atmospheric conditions you’re experiencing.


  1. Aujourd’hui, il fait chaud et humide. (Today, it’s hot and humid.)
  2. En hiver, le temps est souvent froid et glacial. (In winter, the weather is often cold and freezing.)

French Adjectives to Describe Objects

French English
Ancien(ne) Old/ancient
Nouveau(elle) New
Grand(e) Big/large
Petit(e) Small/tiny
Lourd(e) Heavy
Léger(ère) Light (weight)
Coloré(e) Colorful
Brillant(e) Shiny
Rugueux(se) Rough
Doux(ce) Soft

Whether you’re shopping, decorating, or simply describing objects around you, these adjectives will come in handy.


  1. J’adore cette ancienne horloge dans ta maison. (I love this old clock in your house.)
  2. Ce vase est très brillant et coloré. (This vase is very shiny and colorful.)

How to Use Several Adjectives in One Sentence in French

When constructing sentences in French, it’s crucial to understand the placement and order of adjectives. Unlike English where adjectives predominantly come before the noun, in French, they generally follow the noun they describe. However, some common adjectives like “grand” (big) or “petit” (small) are exceptions to this rule. Another key difference is the sequencing of adjectives. The French typically follow an order: size, age, shape, color, and then origin or material. This order ensures that the description flows naturally and is easily understood by listeners or readers. Knowing this structure is vital for anyone looking to master the art of descriptive French.


  1. Elle a un grand sac ancien marron. (She has a big old brown bag.)
  2. C’est une petite boîte colorée en bois. (It’s a small colorful wooden box.)

French adjectives add depth and color to the language, allowing speakers to articulate their feelings and observations vividly. With this guide, you’ll be better equipped to describe people, objects, and even the weather in French. Immerse yourself and enjoy the beauty and expressiveness that French adjectives offer.


How do French adjectives agree in gender and number?

In French, adjectives typically agree in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) with the nouns they modify. This means if the noun is feminine and plural, the adjective must also be in a feminine plural form. For instance, a “red house” is “une maison rouge”, but “red houses” becomes “des maisons rouges”. The change is often signified by adding an ‘e’ for feminine and an ‘s’ for plural, but there are exceptions.

Are there any irregular French adjectives?

Yes, there are irregular French adjectives. While many adjectives follow the typical pattern of adding an ‘e’ for feminine and ‘s’ for plural forms, some don’t. For example, “vieux” (old) becomes “vieille” in the feminine and “beau” (beautiful) becomes “belle”. These irregular forms need to be memorized as they don’t conform to the usual patterns.

How can I improve my use of French adjectives?

Improving your use of French adjectives involves regular practice and immersion. Engage with French content like movies, books, or songs, and pay attention to adjective usage. Speaking with native speakers or joining a language exchange can also help. Practicing sentence construction and getting feedback will make you more adept at using adjectives contextually and correctly.

How can I memorize French adjectives effectively?

To memorize French adjectives effectively, employ varied learning techniques. Flashcards, either physical or digital, are a proven method. Associating adjectives with images or stories can also aid memory. Repetition is key; hence, regularly using new adjectives in sentences will reinforce your recall. Finally, spaced repetition systems (SRS) can be especially helpful, as they remind you to review words at optimal intervals for long-term retention.

Do French adjectives change in different tenses?

No, French adjectives do not change in different tenses. While verbs in French conjugate according to tense and mood, adjectives only change based on the gender and number of the nouns they modify. Regardless of whether a sentence is in the past, present, or future tense, the adjective will remain consistent based on the noun’s attributes.

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