This vocabulary list features (26) French vocabulary words that are useful to describe somebody’s personality or current state. Obviously there are hundreds of adjectives that can describe a person! However, if you happen to think of any cool ones (or very important ones not listed), then please do so below, in the comments section.

(Please also reference How to Increase my French Vocabulary if you haven’t already done so).

How to use the Characteristics:

Before you can use these personality verbs, it would be helpful to know how to conjugate être (to be), so here is the present tense:

je suis (I am)
nous sommes (we are)
tu es (you are)
vous êtes (you are)
il/elle est (he/she is)
ils/elles sont (they are)

Here is how you will use être and combine it with either the masculine or feminine version of the provided adjectives to create worthwhile sentences:

Example entry:
franc (m.) / franche (f.)
To be honest

Je suis franc. I am honest. (the speaker is a man)
Tu es franc. You are honest. (you is a man)
Elle est franche. She is honest. (she is a woman so the adjective has to change appropriately)

Alternatively you can use the expression avoir l’air de to say somebody looks or appears to be any of the following expressions.

Some Characteristics:
heureux (m.) / heureuse (f.)
happy

triste (m/f)
sad

malin (m/f)
clever

gentil (m.) / gentille (f.)
nice or kind

sympathique (m/f) or sympa (m/f)
friendly

méchant (m.) / méchante (f.)
mean, evil

poli (m.) / polie (f.)
polite

impoli (m.) / impolie (f.)
impolite

sensible (m/f)
sensitive

insensible (m/f)
insensitive

désagréable (m/f)
unpleasant

paresseux (m.) / paresseuse (f.)
lazy

discret (m.) / discrète (f.)
discreet

rêveur (m.) / rêveuse (f.)
a dreamer

drôle (m/f)
funny

éveillé (m.) / éveillée (f.)
awake

endormi (m.) / endormie (f.)
sleepy

rouspéteur (m.) / rouspéteuse (f.)
grouchy

tendu (m.) / tendue (f.)
stressed, tense

décontracté (m.) / décontractée (f.)
relaxed

énergique (m/f)
energetic

maladroit (m.) / maladroite (f.)
clumsy

débrouillard (m.) / débrouillarde (f.)
resourceful

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