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Nouns and adjectives -- placement

Generally, adjectives follow nouns:

C'est un livre amusant. (It's an entertaining book.)
Le bébé a besoin d'une chaise haute. (The baby needs a high chair.)

However, certain common adjectives precede the noun. They include bon, mauvais, grand, petit, jeune, vieux, long, beau, faux, gros, nouveau, joli:

Ce bourgogne est encore un bon vin. (This burgundy is still a good wine.)
Il a joué une fausse note. (He played the wrong note.)

A few adjectives change meaning when placed before the verb. Generally, it is thought that when placed after the verb, these verbs retain their literal meaning; placed before it, they take on a figurative sense:

mon ancien professeur / mon professeur ancien (my former professor / my aged professor)
ma propre chambre / ma chambre propre (my own room / my clean room)
un grand homme / un homme grand (a great man / a big man)
le seul voyageur / un voyageur seul (the only traveler / a solitary traveler)

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