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Physical descriptions

To describe someone, use adjectives to talk about their hair, their eyes, their height, their personality and so on.

Look at the adjectives guide to find out more about using adjectives.

In French, adjectives usually go after the noun. For example:

Il a les cheveux (noun) blonds (adjective).

In French, adjectives must agree with the noun. For regular adjectives, add -e to an adjective when using it for a feminine noun, and add -s for a plural noun. For example:

MasculineFeminine
Singularvertverte
Pluralvertsvertes

Some adjectives are irregular. For example:

  • Adjectives like mince (thin) and raide (straight) end in -e for both masculine and feminine.
  • Adjectives change in other ways, eg gros/grosse, beau/belle/beaux/belles.
  • A few adjectives don’t change at all, eg marron - brown, used for eyes, and noisette - hazel.
Six people seen from the shoulders upwards. Three men and three women.

When describing a feature including hair and eyes, the adjective agrees with the feature, not the person. For example:

  • Ma sœur a les yeux bleus. - My sister has blue eyes.

The French word for eyes, yeux, is masculine and plural, so bleus has an -s on the end.

To describe the style, length and colour of someone’s hair:

Ma sœur a les cheveux blonds et raides. – My sister has straight, blond hair.

J’ai les cheveux noirs et longs. – I have long, black hair.

J’ai les cheveux roux et bouclés. – I have curly, ginger hair.

Mon ami a les cheveux mi-longs et ondulés. – My friend has medium length, wavy hair. (Higher vocabulary.)

J’ai les cheveux violets et courts. – I have short, purple hair.

Mon grand-père a les cheveux gris et courts. – My grandfather has short grey hair.

To describe someone’s eyes:

J’ai les yeux bleus/verts/gris/marron/noisette. – I have blue/green/brown/hazel eyes.

Words for colours do not agree with clair (light) or foncé (dark). For example:

  • J’ai les yeux bleu clair. – I have light blue eyes.
  • J’ai les cheveux brun foncé. – I have dark brown hair.
A man and woman. J’ai les cheveaux roux et raides et les yeux bleu. Je suis grande et mince. Je porte des lunettes. Je suis de taille moyenne et mince. J’ai les cheveux courts et les yeux marron.

Other vocabulary

Je suis grand(e)/petit(e)/de taille moyenne. – I am tall/short/medium height.

Je porte des lunettes. – I wear glasses.

Je suis gros(se)/mince. – I am fat/slim.

Il a une barbe. – He has a beard.

Il est beau/Elle est belle. – He/She is good-looking.

Tu es joli(e)/laid(e). – You are pretty/ugly.

Match up the descriptions with the correct picture.

Three people seen in full length. A man with a cake, a woman on the phone and a woman with books.
Question

J’ai les cheveux brun foncé et courts et les yeux marron. Je suis petit et un peu gros. J’ai aussi une barbe.

The answer is A.

J’ai les cheveux brun foncé et courts et les yeux marron. Je suis petit et un peu gros. J’ai aussi une barbe.

I have dark brown, short hair and brown eyes. I am short and a bit fat. I also have a beard.

Question

J’ai les yeux verts et les cheveux roux et bouclés. Je porte des lunettes et je suis grande.

The answer is B.

J’ai les yeux verts et les cheveux roux et bouclés. Je porte des lunettes et je suis grande.

I have green eyes and curly red hair. I wear glasses and I am tall.

Question

Je suis de taille moyenne et je suis très mince. J’ai les cheveux blonds, longs et raides. J’ai les yeux bleus.

The answer is C.

Je suis de taille moyenne et je suis très mince. J’ai les cheveux blonds, longs et raides. J’ai les yeux bleus.

I am average height and I am very thin. I have long, blonde straight hair and blue eyes.