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Placement after the noun
Most descriptive adjectives are placed after the noun they modify. These normally have an analytical meaning, in that they
classify the noun into a certain category. These types of adjectives include shape,color, taste, nationality, religion, social class,
and other adjectives that describe things like personalityand mood.
une table ronde - round table
un livre noir - black book
du thé sucré - sweet tea
une femme américaine - American woman
une église catholique - Catholic church
une famille bourgeoise - middle-class family
In addition, present participles and past participlesused as adjectives are always placed after the noun.
une histoire intéressante - interesting story
un débat passionné - lively debate

2. Placement before the noun
Certain adjectives are placed before the noun, some which you can memorize with the acronym "BAGS":
Good and bad
Size (except for grand with people - see 3, below)
These descriptors - and a few others - are considered inherent qualities of the noun:
une jolie fille - pretty girl
un jeune homme - young man
une nouvelle maison - new house
un bon enfant - good child
un petit problème - small problem
les sincères condoléances - sincere condolences
les vagues promesses - vague promises
un gentil garçon - kind boy
In addition, all non-descriptive (i.e., demonstrative,indefinite, interrogative, negative, and possessive) adjectives are placed
before the noun:
ces livres - these books
chaque personne - each person
quel stylo ? - which pen?
aucune femme - no woman
mon enfant - my child

3. Placement depends on meaning
Some adjectives have both a figurative and an analytic (literal) sense and can thus be placed on either side of the noun. When
the adjective is figurative, it goes before the noun, and when it's analytic, it goes after the noun.
Figurative: mes vertes années my green (fruitful) years
Literal: des légumes verts green vegetables
Figurative: un grand homme a great man
Literal: un homme grand a tall man
Figurative: un triste individu a sad (mean or bad) person
Literal: un individu triste a sad (crying) person
Figurative: mon ancienne école my old (former) school
Literal: mon école ancienne my old (aged) school
Figurative: un certain regard a certain (type of) look
Literal: une victoire certaine a certain (assured) victory