While some of that is just the fun of French, we’re going to greatly reduce your chances of getting into those embarrassing situations again by going over some common and confusing homophones right now. When one friend asks how white lines are visible on a white canvas, the other, who is incensed by the enormous cost of the painting which to him looms over all of its other characteristics, says: âTu cherches tout de suite la petite bÃªte. Here are 25 of the most useful (or just the most confusing) homophone sets in French. Tap on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more. (Someone threw a ripe blackberry at the wall.). If you learn how these homophones sound, then the rest gets easier. Take two (or sometimes three or four) homophones and make one single sentence with them. un mur — a wall mûr(e) — ripe une mûre — a blackberry, Quelqu’un a lancé une mûre mûre au mur. As for celle, the demonstrative pronoun, you’re sure to hear it, and even use it. (My dad and his peer make a good pair.). (I read a story about a count who opened an account.). There are those who love to split hairs, fixating on the most minute details and losing sight of, or directing attention away from, the larger picture. Still, there are many words in English and French that are the same or very similar, both in spelling and meaning. If you want to go further, at the end of this article, youâll find a link to an extremely long and thorough alphabetical list. âIl mâa fait un smackâ â he gave me a peck on the lips, a soft kiss. Salaud (Sa-lowd) Bastard. There are words and phrases that sound funny in any language, and French is no exception. The saving grace with this set is that cent is an adjective, sang is a noun, sens is a conjugated verb form and sans is a preposition. There is a moment in Yasmina Rezaâs play Art when one of the characters accuses his friend of doing this very thing during a heated discussion over the significance of a completely white and very expensive canvas. Je â¦ They really are a great resource, but it’s okay if they’re not your thing. Her BFF, however, comes up with snappy responses right away, which is something Barberyâs narrator admires about her. And sel, being salt and all, is a staple—both in language and in the kitchen. The word denotes trying to speak or sing and floundering, especially in a foreign language. While learning French with FluentU, you’ll learn to differentiate between homophones naturally. Some develop vocabulary rapidly, while others have a solid understanding of grammar. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. So really the example sentence could have been much more painful. (Can I pay the fine in almonds?). can take anywhere. Speaking of fowl, how about this anecdote: âCâest une poule et un canard ; la poule dit au canard: il fait un froid de canard ; le canard dit Ã la poule : jâai la chair de pouleâ. Hereâs a list of some of the most common. The idea of incongruity is present in the phrase from Michel de Montaigneâs essay De lâexpÃ©rience, âtout exemple clocheâ, which he uses to illustrate the singularity of a particular example, its uniqueness, even in its position as part of a larger category. Yes, this really is the same as the English word excellence and their definitions are the same. Thanks for subscribing! This is a synonym for truc. The noun sardanapale has origins in the Latin word sardanapalus, which refers to a powerful man leading a luxurious life. Speaking of cows, when you wish to emphasize something in French, you can use this word, as in the following sentence: âLe TGV est vachement rapide !â The question is, why do we say âcowlyâ for emphasis? This one is just goofy. C’est à mon tour de faire le tour de la tour. We also participate in other affiliate advertising programs for products and services we believe in. All Rights Reserved. Some of these words are known as false friends, and are either spelled or pronounced the same as words in other languages, but they can have very different meanings: they might be harmless in one language but quite insulting in another. Links 1910 (47.68%) Wayback Machine. FluentU lets you learn French from real-world content like music videos, commercials, news broadcasts, cartoons and inspiring talks. But if you hear an une or la before the word chouette, then you know something is hooting somewhere. After learning all about gender distinction in the French language, you will be thrilled to learn that the following nouns change genders, depending on whether there is one or more of them: amours, dÃ©lices, orgues. In English, you’re familiar with word pairings like “knew” and “new,” “their” and “they’re,” “guerrilla” and “gorilla.” They can be kind of a pain, but also pretty funny. (She is the queen of the reindeer.). © 2020 Enux Education Limited. (She who put the salt on the saddle will be punished!). Jolie â pretty. The context will likely present itself (and if not for some reason, everyone will get a good laugh). A malapropism (also called a malaprop, acyrologia, or Dogberryism) is the mistaken use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance.An example is the statement by baseball player Yogi Berra, "Texas has a lot of electrical votes", rather than "electoral votes". This is not mousse that you eat â pÃ¢tÃ©, chocolate mousse â but grapefruit. Most Americans will find that these words come out to sound exactly the sameâbut if you're from a big city in the Northeast, then it's probable that the way you sound out each word differs, with "marry" taking on the same vowel as "cat," "merry" taking on the same vowel as "pet," and "Mary" taking on the same vowel as "fair." Although only used in the plural form, this word resembles the preceding words in that it sometimes takes on a feminine role and sometimes takes on a masculine role. How to Deal with Structural Difficulties when Learning FrenchEach learners of French has different strengths and weaknesses. If you think of how pâtes and pâte relate, then this one is a cinch! To yogurt? Just remember that by paying une amende you’re making “amends.” And as for des amandes, those are just delicious. The letter u is more often seen with a circumflex or trÃ©ma, e.g., dÃ», capharnaÃ¼m. The others are celui (masculine singular), ceux (masculine plural) and celles (feminine plural). It seems odd that a fruit would have the name normally reserved for something prepared to have a smooth texture, but it is actually from the Dutch word pompelmoes â a big lemon â which explains the use of the word mousse in its French adaptation. These can be a fun and interesting way to introduce new vocabulary into your day and get you asking questions about why certain things are pronounced the way they are! And the best part? To remember the spelling of these, just remember the English word “lacquer,” the stuff you put on wood or nails that makes them shine. Un verre. (The mother of the mayor lives next to the sea.). If you travel to France and are down for sampling their cuisine, then you’ll come across du foie (liver) more than you’re probably used to. Yeah, âSmackâ is the sound of a soft kiss in French. You said something you were pretty sure you knew the definition for. 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