87 personality traits in French to help describe one's character

“ On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. “

You can only see well with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eye.

This wonderful quote from “Le petit prince“, written by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, is very true. And while it’s useful to know physical traits, French personality adjectives will help you describe yourself and others in a deeper way.

This guide on personality traits in French is a great complement to our article on How to introduce yourself in French. You can use it in the following situations:

  • At a job interview, to show off your best qualities and turn your flaws into assets — You know, the typical “I’m a perfectionist”!
  • With a new friend, to explain your personality in French.
  • To describe someone, for example a family member or the protagonist of a movie.
  • To enquire about a blind date or a Tinder match — What? It’s very useful!
  • And many more!

Describe your best qualities and personality traits in French during a job interview.

What are personality adjectives in French?

We all have different personalities. Personality adjectives are used to describe someone — or a pet — in detail, whether it’s good or bad, and answer the question: “What is she/he like?”.

Some have a different masculine and feminine form, and they all need to be in the plural form when talking about several people.

For example:

Elle me fait souvent des cadeaux, elle est très gentille.

She often gives me gifts; she’s very nice.

Mon frère est timide, il n’ose pas parler aux inconnus.

My brother is shy. He doesn’t dare talk to strangers.

Mon lapin est caractériel, il n’aime pas qu’on le prenne.

My rabbit is temperamental. It doesn’t like to be picked up.

Mes copains sont un peu paresseux, ils se lèvent très tard.

My friends are a bit lazy. They wake up very late.

Mes sœurs sont très enjouées.

My sisters are very playful.

Ils ont vécu une expérience difficile, ils sont vraiment courageux.

They went through a difficult experience; they are very brave.

Personality traits in French

We have divided the French personality adjectives below into two tables: positive and negative traits. Of course, some of these traits are subjective and may be considered as both positive and negative.

I mean, I’m not restless, I’m dynamic and energetic. And it’s not stubbornness, it’s perseverance, right?

In the tables below, we’ve included the masculine and feminine forms. For the plural, just add an “s”, except if it ends with an “x” — in such cases, the plural form stays the same.

Examples:

Mes parents sont créatifs.
My parents are creative.

Mon copain et moi sommes aventureux.
My boyfriend and I are adventurous.

Positive personality traits in French

I’m sure you only have positive personality traits, so here is a list for you! Add a compliment in French, and you’ll make some friends in no time!

You would describe this man as having a caring personality in French.

English French, masculine French, feminine
Ambitious Ambitieux Ambitieuse
Funny Drôle Drôle
Outgoing Extraverti Extravertie
Intelligent Intelligent Intelligente
Creative Créatif Créative
Patient Patient Patiente
Charismatic Charismatique Charismatique
Serious Sérieux Sérieuse
Kind Gentil Gentille
Brave Courageux Courageuse
Playful Enjoué Enjouée
Studious Studieux Studieuse
Friendly Amical Amicale
Nice Sympathique Sympathique
Sophisticated Sophistiqué Sophistiquée
Calm Calme Calme
Adventurous Aventureux Aventureuse
Open-minded Ouvert d'esprit Ouverte d'esprit
Perfectionist Perfectionniste Perfectionniste
Dynamic Dynamique Dynamique
Energetic Énergique Énergique
Resourceful Débrouillard Débrouillarde
Discreet Discret Discrète
Ingenious Ingénieux Ingénieux
Loyal Loyal Loyal
Persevering Persévérant Persévérante
Sociable Sociable Sociable
Hard-working Travailleur Travailleuse
Tolerant Tolérant Tolérante
Generous Généreux Généreuse
Artistic Artistique Artistique
Down-to-earth Simple, réaliste Simple, réaliste
Frank Franc Franche
Honest Honnête Honnête
Grateful Reconnaissant Reconnaissante
Interesting Intéressant Intéressante
Modest Modeste Modeste
Spontaneous Spontané Spontanée
Organized Organisé Organisée
Polite Poli Polie
Quirky Excentrique Excentrique
Reliable Fiable Fiable
Responsible Responsable Responsable
Sincere Sincère Sincère
Talkative Bavard Bavarde
Understanding Compréhensif Compréhensive
Optimistic Optimiste Optimiste
Wise Sage Sage
Caring Attentionné Attentionnée

Negative character traits in French

But just in case you also have a few — very few — negative traits, have a look at the list below. You can also use them to talk about someone else, obviously.

English French, masculine French, feminine
Shy Timide Timide
Mean Méchant Méchante
Scary Effrayant Effrayante
Unfriendly Désagréable Désagréable
Impatient Impatient Impatiente
Lazy Paresseux Paresseuse
Boring Ennuyeux Ennuyeuse
Temperamental Caractériel Caractérielle
Careless Imprudent Imprudente
Restless Agité Agitée
Unlikeable Antipathique Antipathique
Rough Dur Dure
Indiscreet Indiscret Indiscrète
Unfaithful Infidèle Infidèle
Introvert Introverti Introvertie
Coward Lâche Lâche
Dishonest Malhonnête Malhonnête
Uncommunicative Fermé Fermée
Apathetic Apathique Apathique
Stubborn Têtu Têtue
Narrow-minded Étroit d'esprit Étroite d'esprit
Intolerant Intolérant Intolérante
Ungrateful Ingrat Ingrate
Pessimistic Pessimiste Pessimiste
Aggressive Agressif Agressive
Anxious Anxieux Anxieuse
Boastful Vantard Vantarde
Cold Froid Froide
Disorganized Désorganisé Désorganisée
Grumpy Grincheux Grincheuse
Hypocritical Hypocrite Hypocrite
Rude Grossier Grossière
Stupid Stupide Stupide
Naive Naïf Naïve
Passive Blasé Blasée
Selfish Égoïste Égoïste
Stingy Radin Radine
Pretentious Prétentieux Prétentieuse

Monsieur et Madame

Your best allies to learn character traits in French — besides Berlitz and myself, of course — are Monsieur et Madame! What, you don’t know Monsieur et Madame? Just kidding, I don’t think it made it over the pond!

Mr. Men started as a British collection of children’s books in the 70s, followed by a similar series called Little Miss in the 80s. Thank you equality!

Reading Mr Men books in French is a great way to learn French personality traits.

The French translation, Monsieur et Madame, was a hit with French kids, myself included. Nowadays, it’s still a classic in 28 countries, with the accompanying merchandising.

Each book introduces a character and his/her main personality trait.

Discover the universe of Monsieur Grognon, Monsieur Bavard, Monsieur Malpoli, Madame Têtue and all their friends!

Learn personality traits with videos

Exercise: Describe your favorite character

Before you close this page and go on with your day, I’d like to suggest a small exercise to assimilate what you’ve learned today. Come on, ne sois pas timide !

Think about your favorite movie or TV show. If you have too many, repeat the exercise with all of them! Now, think about your favorite character and describe their personality.

Here is an example:

Ma série préférée est Sense8. J’aime tous les personnages car ils ont tous leur propre personnalité. Mais je préfère Capheus car il est toujours optimiste, positif, tolérant et jamais désagréable, même si sa vie n’est pas simple. Il est très inspirant et motivant.
My favorite show is Sense8. I like all the characters because they all have their own personalities. But I prefer Capheus because he is always optimistic, positive, tolerant and never unfriendly, even if his life is not easy. He is very inspiring and motivating.

With these personality traits, you’ll be equipped to describe your wonderful self, your super friendly friend or your stubborn cat. Perfect for your French learning skills!

And while you’re at it, it could be useful to learn how to express your feelings in French. Good thing you’re studieux et intelligent !

Find more free French vocabulary lessons on our French blog.

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