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French English False Cognates - Faux amis

Common false cognates in French and English


By Laura K. Lawless, About.com Guide

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french english differences false cognates french vocabulary

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Learn French in 2011enroll for term 2 2011 only 12 students per class !golden-wheel.net Learn French for FreeLearn French Online and completely for Free!www.Busuu.com French and English have hundreds of cognates (words which look and/or are pronounced alike in the two languages), including true (similar meanings), false (different meanings), and semi-false (some similar and some different meanings). My alphabetized list of hundreds of false cognates can be a bit unwieldy, so here is an abridged version of the most common false cognates in French and English. Actuellement vs Actually Actuellement means "at the present time" and should be translated as currently or right now. Je travaille actuellement - I am currently working. A related word is actuel, which means present or current: le problme actuel - the current/present problem. Actually means "in fact" and should be translated as en fait or vrai dire. Actually, I don't know him - En fait, je ne le connais pas. Actual means real or true, and depending on the context can be translated as rel, vritable, positif, or concret: The actual value - la valeur relle. Assister vs Assist Assister nearly always means to attend something: J'ai assist la confrence - I attended (went to) the conference. To assist means to help or aid someone or something: I assisted the woman into the building -

J'ai aid la dame entrer dans l'immeuble. Attendre vs Attend Attendre means to wait for: Nous avons attendu pendant deux heures - We waited for two hours. To attend is translated by assister (see above): I attended the conference - J'ai assist la confrence. Avertissement vs Advertisement Un avertissement is a warning or caution, from the verb avertir - to warn. An advertisement is une publicit, une rclame, or un spot publicitaire. Blesser vs Bless Blesser means to wound, injure, or offend, while to bless means bnir. Bras vs Bras Le bras refers to an arm; bras in English is the plural of bra - un soutien-gorge. Caractre vs Character Caractre refers only to the character or temperament of a person or thing: Cette maison a du caractre - This house has character. Character can mean both nature/temperament as well as a person in a play: Education develops character - L'ducation dveloppe le caractre. Romeo is a famous character - Romeo est un personnage clebre. Cent vs Cent Cent is the French word for a hundred, while cent in English can be figuratively translated by un sou. Literally, it is one hundredth of a dollar. Chair vs Chair La chair means flesh. A chair can refer to une chaise, un fauteuil (armchair), or un sige (seat). Chance vs Chance La chance means luck, while chance in English refers to un hasard, une possibilit, or une occasion. To say "I didn't have a chance to..." see Occasion vs Occasion, below. Christian vs Christian Christian is a masculine French name while Christian in English can be an adjective or a noun: (un) chrtien. Coin vs Coin Le coin refers to a corner in every sense of the English word. It can also be used figuratively to mean from the area: l'picier du coin - the local grocer, Vous tes du coin ? - Are you from around here? A coin is a piece of metal used as money - une pice de monnaie. Collge vs College

Le collge and le lyce both refer to high school: Mon collge a 1 000 lves - My high school has 1,000 students. College is translated by universit: This college's tuition is very expensive - Les frais de scolarit cette universit sont trs levs. More Page Page Page Page French-English false cognates: 1: Actuellement/Actually to Collge/College 2: Commander/Command to Exprience/Experience 3: Finalement/Finally to Occasion 4: Parti/Partie/Party to Zone

French English False Cognates - Faux amis


Common false cognates in French and English
By Laura K. Lawless, About.com Guide

See More About:



french english differences false cognates french vocabulary

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(Continued from Page 1)

French and English have hundreds of cognates (words which look and/or are pronounced alike in the two languages), including true (similar meanings), false (different meanings), and semi-false (some similar and some different meanings). My alphabetized list of hundreds of false cognates can be a bit unwieldy, so here is an abridged version of the most common false cognates in French and English. Commander vs Command

Commander is a semi-false cognate. It means to make an order (command) as well as to order (request) a meal or goods/services. Une commande is translated by order in English. Command can be translated by commander, ordonner, or exiger. It is also a noun: un ordre or un commandement. Con vs Con Con is a vulgar word that literally refers to female genitalia. It usually means an idiot, or is used as an adjective in the sense of bloody or damned. Con can be a noun - la frime, une escroquerie, or a verb - duper, escroquer. Pros and cons - le pour et le contre. Crayon vs Crayon Un crayon is a pencil, while a crayon is as un crayon de couleur. The French language uses this expression for both crayon and colored pencil. Dception vs Deception Une dception is a disappointment or let-down, while a deception is une tromperie or duperie. Demander vs Demand Demander means to ask for: Il m'a demand de chercher son pull - He asked me to look for his sweater. Note that the French noun une demande does correspond to the English noun demand. To demand is usually translated by exiger: He demanded that I look for his sweater - Il a exig que je cherche son pull. Dranger vs Derange Dranger can mean to derange (the mind), as well as to bother, disturb, or disrupt. Excusez-moi de vous dranger... - I'm sorry for bothering you.... To derange is used only when talking about mental health (usually as an adjective: deranged = drang). Douche vs Douche Une douche is a shower, while douche in English refers to a method of cleaning a body cavity with air or water: lavage interne. Entre vs Entre Une entre is an hors-d'oeuvre or appetizer, while an entre refers to the main course of a meal: le plat principal. Envie vs Envy Avoir envie de means to want or to feel like something: Je n'ai pas envie de travailler - I don't want to work / I don't feel like working. The verb envier, however, does mean to envy. Envy means to be jealous or desirous of something belonging to another. The French verb is envier: I envy John's courage - J'envie le courage Jean. ventuellement vs Eventually ventuellement means possibly, if need be, or even: Vous pouvez ventuellement prendre ma voiture - You can even take my car / You can take my car if need be. Eventually indicates that an action will occur at a later time; it can be translated by finalement,

la longue, or tt ou tard: I will eventually do it - Je le ferai finalement / tt ou tard. Exprience vs Experience Exprience is a semi-false cognate, because it means both experience and experiment: J'ai fait une exprience - I did an experiment. J'ai eu une exprience intressante - I had an interesting experience. Experience can be a noun or verb refering to something that happened. Only the noun translates into exprience: Experience shows that ... - L'exprience dmontre que... He experienced some difficulties - Il a rencontr des difficults.

French English False Cognates - Faux amis


Common false cognates in French and English
By Laura K. Lawless, About.com Guide

See More About:



french english differences false cognates french vocabulary

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(Continued from Page 2)

French and English have hundreds of cognates (words which look and/or are pronounced alike in the two languages), including true (similar meanings), false (different meanings), and semi-false (some similar and some different meanings). My alphabetized list of hundreds of false cognates can be a bit unwieldy, so here is an abridged version of the most common false cognates in French and English. Finalement vs Finally Finalement means eventually or in the end, while finally is enfin or en dernier lieu. Football vs Football Le football, or le foot, refers to soccer (in American English). In the US, football = le football amricain.

Formidable vs Formidable Formidable is an interesting word, because it means great or terrific; almost the opposite of the English. Ce film est formidable ! - This is a great movie! Formidable in English means dreadful or fearsome: The opposition is formidable - L'opposition est redoutable/effrayante. Gentil vs Gentle Gentil usually means nice or kind: Il a un gentil mot pour chacun - He has a kind word for everyone. It can also mean good, as in il a t gentil - he was a good boy. Gentle can also mean kind, but in the more physical sense of soft or not rough. It can be translated by doux, aimable, modr, or lger: He is gentle with his hands - Il a la main douce. A gentle breeze - une brise lgre. Gratuit vs Gratuity Gratuit refers to anything that is given for free: la gratuit de l'ducation - free education, while a gratuity is un pourboire or une gratification. Gros vs Gross Gros means big, fat, heavy, or serious: un gros problme - a big/serious problem, and Gross means grossier, fruste, or (informally) dgueullasse. Ignorer vs Ignore Ignorer is a semi-false cognate. It nearly means to be ignorant or unaware of something: j'ignore tout de cette affaire - I know nothing about this business. To ignore means to deliberately not pay attention to someone or something. The usual translations are ne tenir aucun compte de, ne pas relever, and ne pas prter attention . Librairie vs Library Une librairie refers to a bookstore, while library in French is une bibliothque. Monnaie vs Money La monnaie can refer to currency, coin(age), or change, and money is the general term for argent. Napkin vs Napkin Un napkin refers to a sanitary napkin. A napkin is correctly translated by une serviette. Occasion vs Occasion Occasion refers to a(n) occasion, circumstance, opportunity, or second-hand purchase. Une chemise d'occasion = a second-hand or used shirt. Avoir l'occasion de means to have a/the chance to: Je n'avais pas l'occasion de lui parler - I didn't have a chance to talk to him. An occasion is une occasion, un vnement, or un motif. More French-English false cognates:

Page Page Page Page

1: 2: 3: 4:

Actuellement/Actually to Collge/College Commander/Command to Exprience/Experience Finalement/Finally to Occasion Parti/Partie/Party to Zone

French English False Cognates - Faux amis


Common false cognates in French and English
By Laura K. Lawless, About.com Guide

See More About:



french english differences false cognates french vocabulary

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(Continued from Page 3)

French and English have hundreds of cognates (words which look and/or are pronounced alike in the two languages), including true (similar meanings), false (different meanings), and semi-false (some similar and some different meanings). My alphabetized list of hundreds of false cognates can be a bit unwieldy, so here is an abridged version of the most common false cognates in French and English. Opportunit vs Opportunity Opportunit refers to timeliness or appropriateness: Nous discutons de l'opportunit d'aller la plage - We're discussing the appropriateness of going to the beach (under the circumstances) . Opportunity leans toward favorable circumstances for a particular action or event and is translated by une occasion: It's an opportunity to improve your French - C'est une occasion de te perfectionner en franais.

Parti/Partie vs Party Un parti can refer to several different things: a political party, an option or course of action (prendre un parti - to make a decision), or a match (i.e., He's a good match for you). It is also the past participle of partir (to leave). Une partie can mean a part (e.g., une partie du film - a part of the film), a field or subject, a game (e.g., une partie de cartes - a game of cards), or a party in a trial. A party usually refers to une fte, soire, or rception; un correspondant (on the phone), or un groupe/une quipe. Pice vs Piece Une pice is a semi-false cognate. It means piece only in the sense of broken pieces. Otherwise, it indicates a room, sheet of paper, coin, or play. Piece is a part of something - un morceau or une tranche. Professeur vs Professor Un professeur refers to a high school, college, or university teacher or instructor, while a professor is un professeur titulaire d'une chaire. Publicit vs Publicity Publicit is a semi-false cognate. In addition to publicity, une publicit can mean advertising in general, as well as as a commercial or advertisement. Publicity is translated by de la publicit. Quitter vs Quit Quitter is a semi-false cognate: it means both to leave and to quit (i.e., leave something for good). When quit means to leave something for good, it is translated by quitter. When it means to quit (stop) doing something, it is translated by arrter de: I need to quit smoking - Je dois arrter de fumer. Raisin vs Raisin Un raisin is a grape; a raisin is un raisin sec. Rater vs Rate Rater means to misfire, miss, mess up, or fail, while rate is the noun proportion or taux or the verb valuer or considrer. Raliser vs Realize Raliser means to fulfill (a dream or aspiration) or achieve. To realize means se rendre compte de, prendre conscience de, or comprendre. Rester vs Rest Rester is a semi-false cognate. It usually means to stay or remain: Je suis reste la maison - I stayed at the house. When it is used idiomatically, it is translated by rest: He refused to let the matter rest - Il refusait d'en rester l. The verb to rest in the sense of getting some rest is translated by se reposer: Elle ne se repose jamais - She never rests. Runion vs Reunion

Une runion can mean collection, gathering, raising (of money), or reunion. A reunion is une runion, but note that it usually refers to a meeting of a group that has been separated for an extended period of time (e.g., class reunion, family reunion). Robe vs Robe Une robe is a dress, frock, or gown, while a robe is un peignoir. Sale vs Sale Sale is an adjective - dirty. Saler means to salt. A sale is une vente or un solde. Sympathique vs Sympathetic Sympathique (often shortened to sympa) means nice, likeable, friendly, kindly. Sympathetic can be translated by compatissant or de sympathie. Type vs Type Un type is informal for a guy or bloke. In the normal register, it can mean type, kind, or epitome. Quel type de moto ? - What kind of motorbike? Le type de l'gosme - The epitome of selfishness. Type means un type, un genre, une espce, une sorte, une marque, etc. Unique vs Unique The French word unique means only when it precedes a noun (unique fille - only girl) and unique or one of a kind when it follows. In English, unique means unique, inimitable, or exceptionnel. Zone vs Zone Une zone usually means a zone or an area, but it can also refer to a slum. A zone is une zone. More Page Page Page Page French-English false cognates: 1: Actuellement/Actually to Collge/College 2: Commander/Command to Exprience/Experience 3: Finalement/Finally to Occasion 4: Parti/Partie/Party to Zone