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La femme mauvaise

Shouldn't mauvaise be before the noun? This is where the voice says it in french and I translate to english. It says it means the "bad woman", but I thought Mauvaise went before femme.

July 31, 2012



In french, usually the adjective goes after the noun. There are many exceptions to this rule which boil down to literal vs. figurative usage. If you mean literally a bad woman, you say 'femme mauvaise'. If you say 'mauvaise femme', on the other hand you would be saying 'wrong woman'.


Most 1 and 2 syllable adjectives do come before the noun. The exception comes when the placement of the adjective can lead to seperate meanings. I could say "Mon ancien ami" (My old friend), meaning we have been friends for a long time. I could also say "Mon ami ancien," and despite the same english translation, I would be calling my friend ancient (really old) in the second example.

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