Certain = specific / sure in French (adjectives that change meaning according to position)

Note that certain adjectives change their meanings depending if they appear before or after the noun.

Look at these uses of certain/certaine:

Un certain hommea particular man

C'est une opportunité certaine.It's a sure opportunity.

Une femme d'un certain âge.A woman of a certain age.

Certains projets sont faciles.Certain projects are easy.

Before the noun, certain/certaine means some or particular: it retains a vagueness here.

After the noun, the meaning of certain is similar to the English one of being sure, certain, unquestionable

Note: generally adjectives appear after the noun, but some very common adjectives go before.

 See also: 

Ancien = former/old (French Adjectives that change meaning according to position) 

Cher= dear/expensive (French Adjectives that change meaning according to position) 

Propre = own/clean (French Adjectives that change meaning according to position) 

Dernier = final/previous (French Adjectives that change meaning according to position)

Vrai = real/true (French Adjectives that change meaning according to position)  

 

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Examples and resources

Un certain hommea particular man
C'est une opportunité certaine.It's a sure opportunity.
Certains projets sont faciles.Certain projects are easy.
Une femme d'un certain âge.A woman of a certain age.
Un homme certain.A reliable man.
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