Propre = own / clean (adjectives that change meaning according to position)

Note that certain adjectives change their meanings depending if they appear before or after the noun.

Look at these uses of propre:

Mon propre vélo
My own bike

Mon vélo propre
My clean bike

Before the noun, propre means 'own', but after the noun it means 'clean'.

 

NB: generally adjectives appear after the noun, but some very common adjectives go before.

 

See also: 

Ancien = former / old (adjectives that change meaning according to position) 

Cher= dear / expensive (adjectives that change meaning according to position) 

Certain = specific / sure (adjectives that change meaning according to position) 

Dernier = final / previous (adjectives that change meaning according to position)

Vrai = real / true (adjectives that change meaning according to position)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Mon vélo propre
My clean bike


Mon propre vélo
My own bike


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 3 answers

MillerA2Kwiziq community member

Hard and fast rule?

In Le Seigneur des Anneaux , Galadriel says « Et l'Anneau de pouvoir a eu sa volonté propre ». From the context it is exceedingly clear that she means “ And the Ring of Power had its own will.”


Was this a bad translation pour the French version of the film, or can one use propre in this way if the context is clear?

Asked 1 week ago

Hard and fast rule?

In Le Seigneur des Anneaux , Galadriel says « Et l'Anneau de pouvoir a eu sa volonté propre ». From the context it is exceedingly clear that she means “ And the Ring of Power had its own will.”


Was this a bad translation pour the French version of the film, or can one use propre in this way if the context is clear?

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SaraB1Kwiziq community member

What about 'amour-propre' which means love of oneself, not clean love?

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Thanks for pointing this out Sara...

I would say amour-propre would translate as self-respect and sometimes pride.

e.g.

Cette victoire a renforcé l'amour-propre du footballeur = This victory boosted the footballer's pride

Hope this helps!

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Sara, Alors, the dictionary gives this French phrase for «self-loathing» --> «dégoût de soi» (it does not give a definition for self-love) -- so taking this structure it appears that the phrase would be «self-love» --> «amour de soi». «Amour-propre» translates as «self-esteem». J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )

What about 'amour-propre' which means love of oneself, not clean love?

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WilliamB1Kwiziq community member

can we say "mon propre vélo propre" ?

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour William ! Oui, absolument ! It would mean "my own clean bike" :) Bonne journée !

can we say "mon propre vélo propre" ?

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