Personality Traits in French

Instructor: Julie Morris

Julie has taught French and Spanish for 14 years and has a Master of Arts in Teaching and an MBA, as well as Master coursework in French

This lesson will cover basic adjectives for describing people's personalities and natural tendencies. We'll also explore different forms of these personality trait adjectives, and then you can test your knowledge with a short quiz.

Personality Traits in French

Has anyone ever tried to set you up on a blind date? How did your friend describe the potential soulmate? In addition to physical appearance, personality traits are descriptors you might want to know in a situation like this. If your friend told you the person is tall with brown hair, you would certainly want more details! Before you agree to meet, you might want to know if this friend-of-a-friend is a hard worker or lazy, and if the person is intelligent, nice, kind, pleasant, or creative, for example.

Now let's say you're in France and a friend tries to set you up on a blind date. You'll need to know some personality trait vocabulary in French. Let's look at some basic personality trait adjectives in French:

Masculine Plural Masculine Feminine Plural Feminine English Translation
intelligent intelligents (an tehl ee jahn) intelligente intelligentes (an tehl ee jahntuh) intelligent
gentil gentils (jahn tee) gentille gentilles (jahn teeyuh) kind
avare avares (ah vahr) avare avares (ah vahr) stingy
sympathique sympathiques (sam pah teek) sympathique sympathiques (sam pah teek) nice/sympathetic
méchant méchants (meh shahn) méchante méchantes (meh shahn tuh) mean
créatif créatifs (cray ah teef) créative créatives (cray ah teev) creative
artistique artistiques (ahr tee steek) artistique artistiques (ahr tee steek) artistic
timide timides (tee meed) timide timides (tee meed) timid/ shy
sortant sortants (sohr tahn) sortante sortantes (sohr tahntuh) outgoing
branché branchés (brahn shay) branchée branchées (brahn shay) cool/connected
charmant charmants (shahr mahn) charmante charmantes (shahr mahntuh) charming
fidèle fidèles (fee dehl) fidèle fidèles (fee dehl) loyal
bavard bavards (bah vahr) bavarde bavardes (bah vahr duh) talkative
calme calmes (cahl muh) calme calmes (cahlmuh) quiet/ calm
organisé organisés (ohr gah nee zay) organisée organisées (ohr gah nee zay) organized
désorganisé désorganisés (day zohr gah nee zay) désorganisée désorganisées (day zohr gah nee zay) disorganized/messy
compréhensif compréhensifs (cohm pray ahn seef) compréhensive compréhensives (cohm pray ahn seev) understanding
bon bons (bohn) bonne bonnes (buhnnuh) good
mauvais mauvais (moh vay) mauvaise mauvaises (moh vehz) bad
paresseux paresseux (pah reh suh) paresseuse paresseuses (pah reh suhz) lazy
travailleur travailleurs (trah vah ee uhr) travailleuse travailleuses (trah vah ee uhz) hardworking

Adjectives and Agreement

Don't forget that the adjective must agree with the noun you are describing. When speaking about a female, for instance, you'll need to use the feminine form of the adjective. Groups require a plural form of the noun. For example:

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