Start Essay Describing Yourself Adjectives

If you're just starting out learning French, one of the first things you'll be asked to do is to describe yourself. Whether you're learning to say your name, express your state of being or use adjectives to describe yourself, this is the most basic of tasks when speaking French.

Describing How You Look

Start off with "je suis..." (zuh swee), which means "I am." This is similar to English and the French sentence would be constructed the same way. However, in French, if you are a female, you must use the feminine ending of the adjective. In the adjective charts below, the feminine form of the word is listed second.

Physical Appearance

Consider some of these adjectives to express your physical attributes.

FrenchPronunciationEnglish
petit/petite puh-tee/puh-teet little
grand/grande grahn/grahnd tall or big
fort/forte fohr/fohrt strong
gros/grosse groh/gross fat
joli/jolie zhoh-lee cute
brune broohn brunette
blonde blohnd blonde
rousse roos red head
chauve shove bald
beau/belle bow/bell handsome/beautiful
vieux/vielle vee-uh/vee-ay old
jeune zhuhn young

Examples

  • Male: Je suis petit.
  • Female: Je suis jolie.
  • Male or Female: Je suis jeune. (Not all adjectives have differentiated male and female endings.)

Eye Color

To describe your eye color in French, you start with the phrase "j'ai les yeux..." (zhay layz yuh...) and follow by a color in the chart below. French word order is different; the color goes after the noun.

FrenchPronunciationEnglish
bleu bluh blue
vert vair green
marron* mah rhon brown (for eyes)
noisette* nwah zett hazel

Examples

  • J'ai les yeux bleus.
  • J'ai les yeux noisette.

Note: In this case, some of the adjectives are plural and must have an 's' on the end while others do not. The general rule of thumb is that names of flowers, fruits or jewels used to define a color are the same whether they are describing a masculine, feminine or plural noun. In the example above, marron as a noun is a chestnut, and noisette is a hazelnut.

Describing Your Personality

You can use the same structure to describe your personality as you did your physical appearance. To start, use "je suis..." If you are female, make sure you use the feminine form of the adjective.

FrenchPronunciationEnglish
sympathique sam-pah-teek friendly, nice
juste zhoost fair/just
fou/folle foo/fohll crazy
mauvais/mauvaise moh-vay/moh-vez bad
gentil/gentille zhen-tee/zhen-teel kind
content/contente cohn-tehn/cohn-tehnt content
calme cahlm

calm

drôle drohl funny
sérieux/sérieuse say-ree-uh/say-ree-uhz

serious

Examples

  • Male: Je suis fou.
  • Female: Je suis contente.
  • Male or female: Je suis sympathique.

Expressing How You Feel

Similar to describing your personality, you will start off using "je suis..." As noted below, not all adjectives have a different feminine form, but if they do, it is listed second.

FrenchPronunciationEnglish
plein/pleine plenh/plehn full
heureux/heureuse uh-ruh/uh-ruhz happy
malade mah-lahd sick
triste treest sad
nerveux/nerveuse nair-vuh/nair-vuhz nervous
occupé/occupée oh-coo-pay busy
furieux/furieuse fuh-ree-uh/fuh-ree-uhz furious

fâché/fâchée

fah-shay angry

Examples

  • Males: Je suis heureux.
  • Females: Je suis nerveuse.
  • Male or female: Je suis triste.

State of Being and Avoir

Sometimes, you might want to describe a need or how you're feeling in a given situation. In French, a lot of these phrases take the verb "avoir," which means "to have." In other words, in French, rather than saying "I am afraid" like you would in English, you say "I have fear." To say "I have," use "j'ai..." (zhay). These do not need to be changed if you are female.

FrenchPronunciationEnglish
peur puhr afraid
froid fwah cold
faim fahm hungry
soif swahf thirsty
chaud show hot
sommeil so-may sleepy

Examples

Basic Introductions

While introducing yourself isn't exactly describing yourself, these are phrases that would come up if someone ever asked you to talk about yourself.

FrenchPronunciationEnglish
Je m'appelle... zuh mah-pell... My name is...
J'habite à (New York). zah-beet ah (New York). I live in (New York).
Je suis un/une (étudiant). zuh sweez uhn/oon (ay-too-dee-ahnt). I am a (student).
J'ai ___ ans. zhay ___ahns. I am ___ years old.
Je suis de (New York). zuh swee duh (New York). I am from (New York).

Speaking With Confidence

Once you master some basics, do your best to introduce yourself with confidence. You'll find, for the most part, that French people are very gracious in helping you learn their language. The old adage rings true - practice makes perfect. So practice as often as you can, and soon you'll find you can introduce and describe yourself with ease. Bonne chance!

How to Write Essay Describing Yourself

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Self descriptive essays or personal essays are papers that are written to describe the author. This essay is going to focus on How to Write Essay Describing Yourself. such essays can be difficult to write if not organized because of the immense knowledge the writer has on himself or herself (Baker et al., 2013). However they can also be easy and fun if prepared and properly organized. As with almost all essays, self descriptive essays are divided into introduction, a body of three paragraphs and a conclusion.

When instructed to write an essay describing yourself, so many things come to your mind and you already know what you want to write. However, you should be careful not to come out too strong or too weak. Therefore, the following tips and steps will help you describe yourself in the right way:

  • Preliminaries Before Writing

At this stage, brainstorming about the things to write about is important, for example family, friends, career, hobbies to mention but a few. You can also make a list of strengths and weaknesses (Baker et al., 2013).  However you should avoid dwelling on the negative events. The essay should try as much as possible to maintain a balanced or positive outlook of your life. This should then be followed by subcategories under those topics; a topic like hobbies can be broken down into playing guitar, singing, cooking, swimming, surfing among others. Once these have been broken down, identify the most unique or peculiar experience that is worth talking about-something that happened that you feel you would like to share with others. This will also need to be arranged chronologically.

Starting with a hook in this first section is very important. This is a statement that will capture the attention of the reader and create a thirst or curiosity to read more. It could be a powerful quote or something people say a lot about you, or it could be something in life that is of great interest to you (Weber and M, 2009). The hook should then be followed by a thesis statement which is basically a general description of the whole essay. Watch this video summarize the idea.

Make sure to note down your weaknesses and your strengths. Also write down your major experiences, for example your best moments, your worst moments, and your most embarrassing moments. At this stage also, you might note down your role models and the people you look up to as well as your aspirations. While at it, you should also think of the words you will use to describe yourself. Try to remember the words other people use to describe you and note them down. Again, you do not have to include everything you write here, in your main essay. This is just to help you to select what to include in the main essay.

The body of the paragraphs in most cases three forms the bulk of the essay and should be given careful attention. Once you have settled on what to write about and started with a powerful hook and thesis statement, go into greater details with the paragraphs and dedicate each to an aspect of what you want to talk about (Weber and M, 2009).  Being specific in this section is advisable. Do not shy off from giving detailed descriptions, as they will create a vivid picture to the reader and help create the desired connection to your essay. Stays focused on a single theme and spend a good amount of time on it. Avoid jumping between the different themes while writing as this will confuse the reader on the whole idea of the essay.

In cases where your institution has not provided a specific format to use, you can decide to use the traditional essay format which has five paragraphs; an introduction, a body with three paragraphs and a conclusion.

As much as you may want to be completely honest, some characteristics and experiences are better left unsaid. For example, if you have ever got into trouble with the law, it is not advisable to include that experience. Nevertheless, you may use bad experiences to highlight your strengths. For example, one of your parents might have abandoned you when you were younger. Instead of going on to explain how that parent made you suffer or how you feel deprived of love, you can instead explain how that experience made you stronger, mature, and more responsible. Focus on the outcome of the bad experience, instead of the experience itself.

A strong and good opening keeps the reader interested to read more. A strong opening should give the reader an idea of who you are. For example, you can open with your favorite quote or a joke. This will intrigue the reader to want to learn more about you. However, you should be careful not to come out as boastful. Display a good image of yourself without praising yourself too much or soiling your image.

In research papers, a thesis statement indicates what the research is all about in a few words. While writing about yourself, introduce the essay with a statement that best describes you. For example, you can include three values that best define you in the thesis statement.

  • Have three distinct paragraphs

You can choose a title for each paragraph. For example, you can have your aspirations and dreams in one paragraph, your experiences in another, and your personality traits in the last one.

In your conclusion paragraph, highlight the most important things that you want the reader to remember you for. It might be your best values or your greatest aspirations. Remember you are on a quest on how to write essay describing yourself, you want to leave a positive impression.

This should basically be a summary of the whole essay. Summarize the points you want the reader to remember about yourself and close by giving a strong take home message. A general point to remember is that a self descriptive essay should not bear a very serious tone like a scientific research paper but instead should just be casual while at the same time not given to too much joking (Bakhtin and M.M., 2010). It may also be well to maintain humility throughout the paper especially if you are a highly achieved person.

Avoid blowing your own trumpet and let the reader feel that you are a friendly and approachable character despite your many achievements in life. Give the reader a feel that you are just a human being at the end of the day. Self descriptive essays give you an opportunity to let people know who you are in your own words, therefore you need to utilize this to the maximum by opening up your heart and maintaining sincerity. Avoid dishonesty and be real, there’s nothing the readers will appreciate more than authenticity. That is how to write essay describing yourself.

Again

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References

Baker, J., Brizee, A., & Angeli, E. (2013). Essay writing. Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Savage, A., & Mayer, P. (2006). Effective academic writing: the short essay. Oxford University Press.

Weber, M. (2009). From Max Weber: essays in sociology. Routledge.

Bakhtin, M. M. (2010). The dialogic imagination: Four essays (Vol. 1). University of texas Press.

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