The 12 Most Common Adjectives In French

Having trouble explaining the difference between two objects? Learning the most common adjectives in French can help a lot with your descriptions!
November 19, 2018
The 12 Most Common Adjectives In French

There are a huge number of nouns in any language. You can learn as many as you want, but at some point, you’ll be at a loss for words about something. Fortunately there’s a workaround: adjectives. Learning the most common adjectives in French can help you describe something, even if you’re not sure exactly what it’s called. To help you with your learning, we compiled some of the most important adjectives to know, along with examples to show you how to use them.

1. Petit – Small or of little importance

Examples:

Un petit problème – A small issue
Il est petit. – He is small.

2. Grand – Large, tall, important, worthy of respect

Examples:

Un grand problème – A big issue
Un grand homme – A great man
Il est grand. – He is tall.

3. Drôle – Something that surprises you or makes you laugh

Examples:

C’est drôle ! – That’s funny!
Il est drôle. – He’s funny.

4. Super – Super, great, extraordinary

Examples:

Un film super – A great film
Super ! – Great!

5. Dernier – Last

Examples:

Il est arrivé dernier à la course. – He finished last at the race.
Le petit dernier – The little one (when talking about the youngest child in a family)

6. Premier – First

Examples:

Le premier étage – The first floor
À la première occasion – At the first opportunity

7. Possible – Possible, doable, believable

Examples:

Non ? Pas possible ! – No? No way! (Expression of surprise and disbelief)
C’est possible… – It’s possible…

8. Jeune – Young

Examples:

Les jeunes mariés – Couple that just got married
Une jeune fille – A young girl
Un jeune homme – A young man
Le marié a l’air très jeune. – The groom looks very young.

9. Grave – Serious, considerable, critical

Examples:

Une grave erreur – A serious mistake
L’heure est grave ! – The situation is critical!
Ce n’est pas grave. Il va quand même faire beau. – That’s not too bad. The weather will be nice anyway.

10. Beau – Beautiful

Examples:

Les beaux jours – Warmer days after winter has passed
C’est un beau jardin. – It’s a beautiful garden.

11. Public/ique – Public

Examples:

Un jardin public – A public garden
Travailler dans le secteur public – To work in the public sector
Ils vont à l’école publique. – They go to a public school.

12. Nouveau – New

Examples:

Un nouveau livre – A new book
C’est nouveau ! – That’s new !

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Author Headshot
Thomas Moore Devlin
Thomas grew up in suburban Massachusetts, and moved to New York City for college. He studied English literature and linguistics at New York University, but spent most of his time in college working for the student paper. Because of this, he has really hard opinions about AP Style. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and getting angry about things on Twitter. He's spent a lot of time trying to learn Spanish, and has learned a little German.
Thomas grew up in suburban Massachusetts, and moved to New York City for college. He studied English literature and linguistics at New York University, but spent most of his time in college working for the student paper. Because of this, he has really hard opinions about AP Style. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and getting angry about things on Twitter. He's spent a lot of time trying to learn Spanish, and has learned a little German.

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