FR: faux - place de l'adjectif


Senior Member
English (USA)

I was watching a movie when I came across the following line. I have always had trouble with certain adjective placement, and I have learned to deal with it mostly. I know that most of the time adjectives follow the noun, but in many cases they precede them (such as if the adjective adds some kind of figurative, not literal, description: "un sale homme" = "a dirty man"). This however I don't understand:

"Il s'est presenté sous la fausse identité de George Kaplan"

Why does fausse precede the noun here? I would have placed it after "identité".
  • Testosticles21

    Senior Member
    English (USA)

    I went to your link, and read through it. It talks about different classifications of adjectives. Faux/Fausse seems to fall under the category "épistémique". I can't find this word even in my french-french dictionary. Am I right in thinking that it refers to adjectives of "uncertainty" (comme supposé, probable, prétendu)?


    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    I'm reading the entry here:

    and it appears that the adjective 'faux/fausse' can be placed either before or after.

    For example: les faux diamants but les bijoux faux??

    Is there a way to tell when I'm supposed to put it before or after the noun? Does it change meaning if I switch it?

    For example, I know 'maigre' could mean poor or skinny if it's before or after a noun. Right?

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Faux is usually placed before the noun. In some cases it can also be placed after it, but as a matter of fact, in most of the examples provided in the wiki, I would more naturally put it before not after it. In short, if you always put it before the noun, you should be safe most of the time…

    On the other hand, note that when the adjective is not attributive (épithète in French) but predicative (attribut in French), i.e., when it is not linked directly to the noun but through a verb, it always goes after the noun, e.g.:

    Il a l'air faux.
    Il a le regard faux.