Tag Archives: Friday’s French

Friday’s French – cote, côte, coteau

These words all look fairly similar but they’re not, of course, or I wouldn’t be talking about them. To start off with, cote and côte are not even remotely related and not even pronounced in the same way! Cote is … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – prune and other metaphorical colours   

I’m reading a book in French and come across an expression I don’t know (which doesn’t often happen – I’m a translator after all). “C’est quoi, prendre une prune”, I ask Jean Michel. “Une amende”. So why would you call … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – prochain, next, this,  huitaine & quinzaine

That may seem like a strange combination but an English-speaking friend living in France has suggested I deal with the topic of “this” and “prochain“. This is what she wrote: “ I just had a confusing text message exchange with … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – docteur, médecin, toubib, doctor

I was surprised recently when a 6th year French medical student told me that there is a difference between a médicin and a docteur : a médecin is able to prescrire but is not qualified whereas a docteur has a Ph.D. … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – frais & fresh

I keep walking past this little grocery store in our neighbourhood and seeing the sign: “fresh drink inside – boissons fraîches” and wondering whether tourists really understand that he’s selling cold drinks. Tu as de l’eau fraîche? does not mean … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – normalement, normal & norme

In a very amusing post, Abby from Paris Weekender talks about her new pet peeve as opposed to her previous one which is normalement that got me thinking about how it is used in French. Abby gives the example of … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – déjeuner, jeûne and jeune

Breakfast and déjeuner both have the same origin. I don’t mean their Latin root, but their meaning. Jeûne = fast and dés = stop. But déjeuner doesn’t mean breakfast, it means lunch. Breakfast is petit déjeuner. On the days we practise … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – tort & wrong

Il a tort – elle a raison : He’s wrong – she’s right. Tort comes from the Latin tortus meaning “twisting” as in tortuous so it’s a sort of deviation from the straight and narrow, isn’t it? Faire du tort à … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – fauchage & faux

There was a sign in front of our house this week saying fauchage which actually means scything or reaping. The word for scythe is faux. Obviously the council workers were not going to appear with scythes. Fauchage now also means … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – livret de famille, fiche, fichier

When I first got married in France and saw our livret de famille I thought it was very neat although I didn’t realise its importance. It’s a little book in which the details of your marriage are written and which … Continue reading

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Posted in French customs, French language | Tagged , , | 8 Comments