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

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


l'impérial Zeus
the imperial Zeus


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 9 answers

RobC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

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).

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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

-- Chris.

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

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GC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What about une chambre double ?

- I was marked wrong on the 'double' example because I was following this example.
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
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.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
It is "une chambre double", also according to a native French speaker whom I asked about this specifically. -- Chris.
GC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks, another one of those 'exceptions' to remember!

What about une chambre double ?

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

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PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ancien

Can you please explain the usage of ancien when placed before or after a noun?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Paul, The link below is for the lesson regarding «ancien» use before and after the noun it modifies. Ancien = former / old (adjectives that change meaning according to position) 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
PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci Ron pour votre réponse. Paul.

Ancien

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

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NancyB2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 2 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Nancy, "le premier homme" is fine, but "L'homme premier" is incorrect.
Nancy asked:View original

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

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JacquelineA1Kwiziq community member

do weather terms go before the noun?

Asked 2 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
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://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/talking-about-the-weather-il-y-a">

Talking about the weather with il y a + [noun]

Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]">Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]">Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]">Talking about the weather with il fait + [adjective]

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

Hope that helps.

do weather terms go before the noun?

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