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The French False cognates


OK, French is not easy, ok! But sometimes for french people, english is not easy either... We have so many false friends... in our languages.. In this article we provide some of the most common French faux amis that students encounter when studying the language​ Excited vs. Excité(e)

You want to tell your French friend you’re very excited about to go in vacations or to do something?

« Excité » sounds like the word you should use but unfortunately not.

You just told your friend you were “aroused”, probably not what you were going for.

Use «enthousiaste » is much better.

Actuellement vs. Actually

Most French words ending in “-ement” or « -amment » have their English equivalent ending in “ally”.

But “actuellement” doesn’t mean “actually”, it means “currently

Library vs. LibrarieAsk for the “librairie” in France and you’ll be directed to a bookshop (where you have to pay) rather than a library (which is free).

The word for library is bibliothèque.

Eventuellement vs. EventuallyIn France “éventuellement” means “possibly” and not “eventually”. Person vs. Personne This also has two opposite meanings: no one and someone. Il y a une personne dans le magasin means “There is one person in the store”. Il n’y a personne dans le magasin means « There is no one in the store ».

Plus or Plus?

What a weird little word. Depending on how you pronounce it, it can mean two opposite things – either ''more'' or ''none". Eg: Il y en a plus (pronouncing the ‘s’) means there is more. Il n’y en a plus (‘s’ silent) means there isn’t any left.

Money vs. Monnaie

Monnaie doesn’t mean money in French, it means loose change. So technically it’s easy to pay for things in France when you have no monnaie (you could have notes, after all)

Rester vs. Rest

“Rester” looks like the English verb “to rest”, but it actually means

“to stay”. “To rest” is “se reposer”.

Attendre vs Attend

Attendre à means to wait for

Nous avons attendu pendant deux heures – We waited for two hours.

To attend is translated by assister

ex : I attended the conference – J’ai assisté à la conférence.

#french #frenchlessons #frenchtutor #frenchexpressions #falsefriends #language #carolinetutoring

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