In previous blog posts, we’ve learned how to introduce yourself, how to talk about yourself, family and friends. The next logical step is physical descriptions. Even as a beginner, you will find it useful to be able to describe yourself and other people. Here is how you can describe someone in French including physical & personality traits.
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How to Describe Someone: Physical & Personality Traits in French
- 1 How to Describe Someone: Physical & Personality Traits in French
- 1.1 How to Describe People in French
- 1.2 Pronouns
- 1.3 Verbs for description in French
- 1.4 Vocabulary for Physical & Personality Description in French
- 1.5 Simple Sentence Constructions
- 1.6 Key Takeaway
- 1.7 Your Turn & How to practice
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How to Describe People in French
To ask about what someone looks like in French, you will often use one of these questions:
Male: Comment est-il? What’s he like?
Female: Comment est-elle? What’s she like?
When answering these questions, you can describe physical and personality traits of the person you are referring to. In order to do so, you will use a pronoun (il, elle) or a noun (Sara, Paul), a verb (être, avoir), an adjective (court, grand) and some vocabulary. Did I go too fast here? Alright, let’s break it down.
- Je – I
- Tu – you
- il – he
- elle – she
- Nous – we
- Vous – you (+ formal you)
- ils – they (masculine)
- elles – they (feminine)
Examples of nouns used to refer to people
- l’enfant – child
- le garçon – boy
- la fille – girl
- le jeune homme – young man
- la jeune femme – young woman
- l’homme – man
- la femme – woman/ wife (la femme de..)
- le vieillard – elderly man
- la vieille femme – elderly woman
- l’actrice – actress
- la chanteuse – singer (female)
- le chanteur – singer (masculine)
- le president – president
- la presidente – president (female)
Verbs for description in French
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Vocabulary for Physical & Personality Description in French
Here are a few words you will need find useful to describe people in French:
Physical Description (Body parts)
- le corps- body
- la bouche- mouth
- les cheveux- hair
- les cils (masc. plural.)- eyelashes
- le cou- neck
- la dent-tooth
- la joue – cheek
- la lèvre -lip
- le nez – nose
- l’oeil (masc.), les yeux – eye, eyes
- une oreille – ear
- la pommette – cheekbone
- le sourcil – eyebrow
- la tête – head
- le visage – face
- la poitrine – chest
- le bras – arm
- la main – hand
- le dos – back
- la jambe – leg
- le genou (les genoux) – knee
- le pied – foot
Vocabulary Related To Physical Traits In French
- beau, bel, belle – beautiful or handsome
- moche – ugly
- joli (e) – pretty
- laid (e) – ugly
- jeune – young
- vieux (vielle)- old
- grand(e) – tall, big
- petit (e) – small, short
- long (ue) – long
- court (e) – short
- mince – thin
- blanc (he) – white
- bleu (e) – blue
- blond (e) – blonde
- brun (e) – brown
- bronzé -tan
- jaune – yellow
- marron – brown
- noir (e) – black
- orange – orange
- rose – pink
- roux (rousse) – red (hair colour)
- gris (e) – grey
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Vocabulary Related To Personality Traits in French
- chouette – cool
- discret (-ète) – discreet
- ennuyeux (-se) – boring
- généreux (-se) – generous
- honnête – honest
- indépendant (e) – independent
- intéressante (e) – interesting
- sensationnel (le) – wonderful
- sérieux (-se) – serious
- sportif (-ve) – athletic
- timide – shy
- paresseux (-se) – lazy
- pessimiste – pessimistic
- optimiste – optimistic
- malhonnête – dishonest
- bon (ne) – good
- mauvais (e) – bad
- actif(masc) /active (fem) – active
- ambitieux (-se) – ambitious
Simple Sentence Constructions
Je suis grande de taille.
I am tall.
Il est beau.
He is handsome.
Elle a les yeux noisette.
She has hazel eyes.
Ma soeur a les cheveux raides.
My sister has straight hair.
Sara est chouette.
Sara is cool.
Paul est grand et mince.
Paul is tall and thin.
Il a les yeux bleus.
He has blue eyes.
Elle est courte et a les yeux verts.
She is short and has green eyes.
Mandy est discrète et généreuse.
Mandy is discreet and generous.
Les hommes politiques sont souvent malhonnêtes.
Politicians are often dishonest.
Paul est timide.
Paul is shy.
|Important grammar rules to keep in mind:
More cool resources
If you’re a visual learner, I highly recommend that you take a look at my pinterest boards French for Kids & Beginners and Learn French. You will find more resources that are perfect for you.
Your Turn & How to practice
Can you describe yourself or someone you know in French? I know you can. Give it a try.
Don’t forget to:
- Review the basic grammar rules and vocabulary
- Need help? Find the cheat sheet in your free resource library.
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