Adjectives That Change Meanings according to Placement

January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

These adjectives have one meaning when they precede the noun, and a different meaning when they follow the noun.

Adjective – Meaning Before – Meaning After

ancien – former – ancient
brave – good – brave
grand – noble, good – tall
propre – own – clean
pauvre – pitiful – poor
différent – various, lots of – different, contrary
cher – dear – expensive
méchant – naughty, bad – mean
certain – specific, particular – sure
nouveau – new – brand new, just made
dernier – the very last one – the most recent one
sale – nasty – dirty

Examples
Un ancien amant versus une horloge ancienne
Un brave garçon versus un soldat brave
Ses propres affaires versus son pull-over propre
Une sale histoire versus les mains sales
Ma chère amie versus un bijou cher
Un méchant garçon versus un chien méchant
Une méthode différente versus différentes personnes

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