Other adjectives that go BEFORE nouns

Hopefully you already know that adjectives, or "describing words", usually come AFTER the noun [see Adjectives usually go AFTER nouns (adjective position)], and you also know these exceptions: Short and common adjectives that go BEFORE nouns (adjective position).

Here are other types of adjectives that are also placed BEFORE the noun:

1. Adjectives qualifying a proper noun (starting with a capital letter):

l'extraordinaire Marie Curie
the extraordinary Marie Curie

la coquette Jacqueline
the stylish Jacqueline

l'impérial Zeus
the imperial Zeus

 

2. Numerical adjectives

un triple saut
a triple jump

les trois amis
the three friends

un double menton
a double chin

mon premier amour
my first love

la troisième course
the third race

ses dix chiens
his ten dogs

Note that cardinal numbers (un, cinq, dix, cent...) never change.

 

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

l'impérial Zeus
the imperial Zeus


ses dix chiens
his ten dogs


un triple saut
a triple jump


l'extraordinaire Marie Curie
the extraordinary Marie Curie


un double menton
a double chin


les trois amis
the three friends


le gentil Hugo
the nice Hugo


mon premier amour
my first love


la coquette Jacqueline
the stylish Jacqueline


la troisième course
the third race


Q&A

Rob

Kwiziq community member

11 June 2018

2 replies

Why is "le Docteur compétent Quinn" wrong, and how should that sentence be corrected? Thanks!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

12 June 2018

12/06/18

If adjectives relate to a specific person, they often go before that person's name or designation. For example:


La pauvre Marie. -- Poor Marie.
Le compétent Docteur Quinn. -- The competent Dr. Quinn.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

12 June 2018

12/06/18

Oh, I just saw that this is explained pretty well in the lesson anyway. Did you have a question regarding that explanation?


-- Chris.

G

Kwiziq community member

1 February 2018

3 replies

What about une chambre double ?

- I was marked wrong on the 'double' example because I was following this example.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

It is "une chambre double", also according to a native French speaker whom I asked about this specifically.

-- Chris.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Talking to another French native she amended the previous response a bit:

"Une chambre double" is a fixed term, used when you order a double room in a hotel.

"Une double chambre" is a room subdivided into two units, somehow.

-- I hope this helps, -- Chris.

G

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Thanks, another one of those 'exceptions' to remember!

Paul

Kwiziq community member

3 October 2017

2 replies

Ancien

Can you please explain the usage of ancien when placed before or after a noun?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

3 October 2017

3/10/17

Bonjour Paul,
The link below is for the lesson regarding «ancien» use before and after the noun it modifies.
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/view/119
Here is the take-away from the lesson:
Before the noun, ancien means --> 'former' / 'ex-' / no longer
After the noun it means --> 'ancient' / 'old'
***** Note that the adjective ancien in the sense of "ancient" is not really used for people.

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

Paul

Kwiziq community member

3 October 2017

3/10/17

Merci Ron pour votre réponse. Paul.

Nancy

Kwiziq community member

5 March 2017

1 reply

If "mon premier amour" is correct, why wouldn't it be "le premier homme"?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

5 March 2017

5/03/17

Hi Nancy, "le premier homme" is fine, but "L'homme premier" is incorrect.

jacqueline

Kwiziq community member

14 February 2017

1 reply

do weather terms go before the noun?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

5 March 2017

5/03/17

Hi Jacqueline - most adjectives go after the noun, so it's easiest to learn the exceptions and assume the rest go after. With weather, the obvious exception would be "un beau jour" (a fine/nice day).

However, you do need to be a little careful with weather expressions and descriptions as you often can't translate them word for word from the English. "A cold day" = "un jour froid" and "A cold and rainy day" = "un jour froid et pluvieux" but "a snowy day", would be "un jour de neige".

There will be many cases like that where a 'de' + noun is used instead of an adjective. "un jour de brouillard" (a foggy day).

If we are talking about the weather now, then we also have the "il y a" and "il fait" expressions:

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/talking-about-the-weather-expressions-with-il-y-a

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/talking-about-the-weather-expressions-with-il-fait

Notice that the "il fait" expressions use adjectives but the "il y a" expressions use preposition + noun.

Hope that helps.
Thinking...