Attributive adjective – adjectif épithète


Let's Define It!

What's an *attributive adjective*?

An attributive/epithet adjective , known as adjectif épithète in French, is an adjective that (usually) directly follows the noun it describes, without a linking verb such as être (be), devenir (become), paraître (seem, appear), and so on. These linking verbs are called in French verbes d'état (copular verbs). They must never be present in the noun group within which the attributive adjective belongs.

une maison jaune./ un homme rusé. (Note that in English, epithets precedes the noun --> a yellow house. / a cunning man.

So because similar-looking words between French and English can be misleading (faux-amis), let me reiterate here that an attributive adjective (discussed here) is NOT to be confused with the French "adjectif attribut" which requires a linking verb/copular verb.


Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?


Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Some examples of attributive/epithet adjectives are presented below:

  • une maison confortable. / a cozy house
  • des personnes intelligentes / intelligent persons
  • une musique relaxante / a relaxing music
  • une grande maison / a big house (N.B. Oftentimes, an adjectif épithète can precede the noun it is describing.)




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