French Adjectives to Describe a Person

French adjectives can be a powerful tool to add depth and detail to your descriptions of people. Understanding the nuances and applications of these adjectives is essential for anyone looking to enhance their French language skills.


Basic Descriptive Adjectives

When describing someone’s physical appearance or basic characteristics, these common adjectives are frequently used:

  • Beau / Belle: handsome / beautiful
  • Grand / Grande: tall
  • Petit / Petite: small, short
  • Jeune: young
  • Vieux / Vieille: old
  • Gros / Grosse: big, fat
  • Mince: slim


Personality Traits

To describe someone’s personality, a variety of adjectives can be utilized. Here are some examples:

  • Gentil / Gentille: kind
  • Méchant / Méchante: mean
  • Intelligent / Intelligente: intelligent
  • Bête: silly
  • Travailleur / Travailleuse: hard-working
  • Paresseux / Paresseuse: lazy
  • Sérieux / Sérieuse: serious
  • Amusant / Amusante: funny


Emotions and Feelings

Describing emotions and feelings often requires a different set of adjectives:

  • Heureux / Heureuse: happy
  • Triste: sad
  • En colère: angry
  • Nerveux / Nerveuse: nervous
  • Calme: calm
  • Effrayé / Effrayée: scared
  • Surpris / Surprise: surprised


Social Characteristics

Social traits can also be highlighted with specific adjectives:

  • Sociable: sociable
  • Timide: shy
  • Généreux / Généreuse: generous
  • Égoïste: selfish
  • Honnête: honest
  • Malhonnête: dishonest
  • Respectueux / Respectueuse: respectful
  • Impoli / Impolie: rude


Physical Characteristics

More detailed physical descriptions can be made using these adjectives:

  • Chauve: bald
  • Barbu / Barbe: bearded
  • Musclé / Musclée: muscular
  • Maigre: thin
  • Costaud / Costaude: sturdy, tough
  • Joli / Jolie: pretty
  • Moche: ugly


Adjectives of Measurement and Quantity

When discussing someone’s physical size or presence, measurement adjectives are often relevant:

  • Long / Longue: long
  • Court / Courte: short
  • Épais / Épaisse: thick
  • Fin / Fine: thin
  • Large: wide
  • Étroit / Étroite: narrow


Adjectives of Comparison

Comparative adjectives are useful for drawing comparisons between people:

  • Meilleur / Meilleure: better
  • Pire: worse
  • Supérieur / Supérieure: superior
  • Inférieur / Inférieure: inferior
  • Égal / Égale: equal

Understanding and correctly using French adjectives is crucial for effective communication. Each adjective agrees in gender and number with the noun it describes, which is a key grammatical rule in French. By expanding your vocabulary with these adjectives, you can paint a more vivid picture when describing people in French.