There is one word in French that uses u with the accent grave – où. When I introduce the homophones below, I’ll show you my own set of sentences (brace yourself, I can’t promise they’ll be good!). And just like that, merde became known as le mot de Cambronne---the ultimate French curse word. If you are learning French, it's useful to know some funny French phrases. Other French sounds for hitting would be “vl… But don’t worry here too much. Laque is spelt similarly and has the same meaning, changing the exact definition depending on the context (hair, nails, walls, etc.). Aïe. “Il m’a fait un smack” – he gave me a peck on the lips, a soft kiss. However, with bilingual subtitles and quizzes, you’ll pick up on not just the spoken language but the written language as well. As for une paire, a lot of the time it will be followed by de + [noun], like une paire des bottes (a pair of boots). Spoken, these two can get switched around easily, especially since they’re both feminine. You should be able to identify when someone is talking about their dad, but truth be told, they could be talking about their peer. 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! Un verre. Jolie – pretty. But was he a yogurt fan? Je … This is probably one of the more annoying sets of homophones, but we’re going to get them down once and for all. And sel, being salt and all, is a staple—both in language and in the kitchen. It is used as an incantation for  magic tricks and is spelled the same way in English and in French. Since all of these are commonly used, sometimes you’ll have to use your (amazing) instincts. But it’s a confusing set of homophones when you’re first starting out. la foi — faith le foie — liver une fois — a time, Une fois, j’ai mis toute ma foi en foie gras. Unless you’re watching a Harry Potter movie, when you hear someone say this, you can assume they’re talking about a filter. In French, they work the same and are just about as frequent. You’re likely rather familiar with these words, and probably don’t get them too confused as it is, but when you start getting deep into audio resources it’s good to be aware that these fairly common words have the same sound. The important thing to consider if you do make your own flashcards for homophones is that you need to keep them within their groups. une amande — an almond une amende — a fine, Est-ce que je peux payer l’amende en amandes ? The post 19 Words You Never Realized Are the Same Backwards and Forwards appeared first on Reader's Digest. Found 158390 5-letter words for Scrabble, Words With Friends, WordHub, and Crosswords. In all reality, you’re likely (unless you’re using your French to talk about animals) to use the adjective version of this one anyway. Yeah, “Smack” is the sound of a soft kiss in French. Niche // Many English speakers pronounce this word so that it sounds like “nitch” rather than the French pronunciation which sounds more like “neesh”. So really the example sentence could have been much more painful. (I would like to leave earlier rather than arrive late. A side note to this term is that the singer Seal wrote in the liner notes of his eponymous 1994 album that he didn’t include the lyrics to his songs with his CDs because he wanted to encourage people to respond to the sound and feel of the music. Je voudrais partir plus tôt plûtot qu’arriver plus tard. FluentU lets you learn French from real-world content like music videos, commercials, news broadcasts, cartoons and inspiring talks. 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. These palindromes may be used across the country, but regional sayings add a … au — contraction of à and le aux — contraction of à and les eau — water, Au contraire ! Ce n’était guère une guerre. 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. One French woman I met even feminized it when she couldn’t be bothered to come up with people’s names: “Ils veulent tous bavarder juste parce qu’un Monsieur Machin sort avec une Madame Machine...” We were all laughing by the time she was finished speaking. Make flashcards with each set of homophones on one side, whether that’s two or three (for four you may want to break it up into two flashcards), and then the definitions of each on the other side. un avocat — an avocado un avocat — a lawyer, Il y a un avocat qui représente des avocats. Whether this palindrome word is used as a noun, adjective, or verb, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Here are 25 of the most useful (or just the most confusing) homophone sets in French. Le bout doesn’t mean “tip” as in what you’d give a waiter at a restaurant (which isn’t customary in France, anyway). (I forgot my hairspray at the lake!). You can rhyme with some of these! The h in hauteur is what is called an h aspiré, meaning that when it comes to liaisons and contractions, it acts like a consonant. Do you ever find yourself coming up with the perfect comeback – ten minutes after your conversation ended? It’s only supposed to be used for men (points for the … Or use our Unscramble word solver. Un verre is a glass, such as un verre d’eau (= “a glass of water.”) Le verre is “this glass”, … 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. You’ve got a few ways to distinguish these: masculine vs. feminine, a definite advantage of context and the spelling is very different if you’re seeing them written! This is a synonym for truc. When you say “the tree”, the word “the” sounds almost like the word “thus” without the S. 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 – a big lemon – which explains the use of the word mousse in its French adaptation. Although these have slight changes with the m and n (making them nasal), they sound incredibly similar. So you’ll have l‘auteur with the contraction, but le hauteur pronounced as two separate words! Yes, this really is the same as the English word excellence and their definitions are the same. When it comes to listening comprehension, they pose a threat. leur — possessive pronoun (their), indirect object pronoun (them) un leurre — a delusion/illusion l’heure — the hour, Leur leurre est que l’heure est toujours fausse. For example: The context will likely present itself (and if not for some reason, everyone will get a good laugh). FluentU brings French to life with real-world videos. Quite the opposite… In French, a slap (une gifle, une baffe) is accompanied by a big: “paf !” (we say “et paf, une baffe !). But if you hear an une or la before the word chouette, then you know something is hooting somewhere. ), Much like the homophones aussi tôt and aussitôt, this is another pair that you may not have been distinguishing between. Train them ears! 5 Minute French Lesson Anyone who has ever had a conversation with a French person will know that facial expressions are important. As for celle, the demonstrative pronoun, you’re sure to hear it, and even use it. Though if you’re trying to remember how to spell each one, remember that filtre uses the same letters as its English translation (filter), just with the last two letters switched around. Tu ne me laisses pas finir !”. toolbox. J’ai une puce électronique dans mon dent. The famous shrugging of the shoulders and the pfft sound are so typically French. This could be literally translated as “flying deer”, but is actually the translation for “kite”. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. As a noun, "desert" is a dry, barren area of land where little rain occurs. 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. Interactive captions will guide you along the way, so you’ll never miss a word. les pâtes — pasta la pâte — dough les pattes — paws, Mettez vos pattes sur la pâte pour faire des pâtes. All Rights Reserved. First of all, the sequence of sounds involved in this verb is interesting enough, with two vowel sounds in a row that are distinctly French, followed by the French r, and an -er ending from the 1er groupe. la tour — the tower le tour — the turn, the perimeter, Attention! It’s good to have a six-syllable word for something so bombastic. All of the French words end up sounding the same, and are then used to create a sentence that sounds like complete nonsense. Since dans is a preposition, and you’ll always see dent(s) with a definite or indefinite article, this one won’t get you dans too much trouble. un compte — an account un comte — a count (nobleman) un conte — a story, J’ai lu un conte sur un comte qui a ouvert un compte. When there are two (or more!) Please check your email for further instructions. You could say “Elle meugle” when referring to a cow, or “Meugles-tu ?” if you address a cow while petting it. Remember the word abracadabra? This is an example of l’esprit de l’escalier, which the twelve-year-old narrator of Muriel Barbery’s L’Élégance du hérisson describes when she talks about not finding the right réplique at the right moment, but after too much time has elapsed. (You need special filters to make this potion.). Hands down the most popular French swear word, this one is pretty common. Find words and phrases that can be pronounced similarly to another word or phrase. Don’t feel bad, many a French learner has gone though this. You may already know more of these than you’re giving yourself credit for. This pair is easy on the eyes, but not so easy on the ears. Such a word itself is also called an onomatopoeia. Also the same as pronouncing a closed o in French, these three all make the exact same sound, much like the “o” in the word “cold.” Luckily, you’ll get pretty accustomed to au and aux, using them when you contract à and les or à and le (which is basically all the time). We can’t have a post about vocabulary without mentioning flashcards, can we? (My dad and his peer make a good pair.). Here are 31 French words in English that we use all the time. Here’s a list of some of the most common. FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to (I put only my fingertip in the mud.). These two are pretty easy to distinguish from one another; you’ve got the masculine and feminine going for you, as well as spelling differences. La mer — the sea Le maire — the mayor (la maire is also possible in some regions) La mère — the mother, La mère du maire habite à côté de la mer. The best homophones are the ones where one is a noun and the other…isn’t. La guerre isn’t really at risk of being confused with the similar-sounding adverb, but hey, you just got a useful vocabulary word out of this! Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. On the other hand, if you pronounce it authentically, it sounds like “Voo zett dahn zun grahn davion” Ahhh, that’s better. Or maybe you heard some song lyrics on the radio and thought you understood them. But don’t confuse this with un comte, which translates into English as a count, like Count Olaf (read “Les désastreuses aventures des orphelins Baudelaire”  if you’re not hip to the reference). Thanks for subscribing! If you can get these down, then your (ahem…you’re) going to be fine. un filtre — a filter un philtre — a potion, On a besoin de filtres spéciaux pour faire ce philtre. vert — green vers — around, toward un ver — worm un verre — a glass, En buvant mon verre de vin, j’ai vu un ver vert vers la maison ! (Immediately after I arrived at my house, my mom asked me to do the dishes as soon as possible.). © 2020 Enux Education Limited. Turns out there was a mixup, and now you’ve said a few lines of nonsense or replied to someone with something that sounded crazy. 7. In Les Miserables, one of Napoleon’s generals, a Frenchman named Cambronne uttered a defiant “merde !” when his troops were outnumbered in Waterloo. (Be careful! Examples in French Play and My Experience, Learn Thai for Beginners: 5 Easily Accessible Resources, Introducing Story — learning dialogues, unique vocabulary and expression, Learning How to Read and Speak the Korean Language for Beginners. Another word for sound. Thus, we say amours enfantines, but amour éblouissant ; belles délices, but délice somptueux ; orgues mélodieuses, but grand orgue. You said something you were pretty sure you knew the definition for. Remember that as two words—aussi tôt—it’s a literal translation using the separate French words for “also/too” and “early.” Whereas aussitôt together becomes a whole new word! There are four! (Put your paws on the dough to make the pasta.). While the word moo in English seems more of an illustration of onomatopoeia, this French version involves a /g/ that seems a curious component of this sound made by a cow. Generally, prenominal adjectives that have distinct feminine forms are used in the feminine along with gens, while adjectives that appear after the word are used in their masculine form, e.g., ce sont de petites gens ; parmi ces gens nombreux. See! Speaking of cows, when you wish to emphasize something in French, you can use this word, as in the following sentence: “Le TGV est vachement rapide !” The question is, why do we say “cowly” for emphasis? Its definition in the Larousse appears as: “Qui suscite l'incrédulité par son caractère improbable ou incohérent : Une affirmation abracadabrantesque”. aussi tôt — too early, as soon (as possible) aussitôt — immediately. We don’t go “kiss kiss”, but “smack, smack”. As for des pattes, animals tend to have paws and not pasta or dough (unless it’s a thieving raccoon). Feminine, adjective. This refers to both the food and the liver inside of you. can take anywhere. Salaud (Sa-lowd) Bastard. But it’s still fun to say la reine des rennes. You'll never look at these words the same again. The letter u is more often seen with a circumflex or tréma, e.g., dû, capharnaüm. Un leurre, not as much, unless you suffer from a lot of delusions about how bad your French is (I promise it’s not as bad as you think). This phrase is particularly useful in certain parts of the Northern Hemisphere at the moment, at it indicates an intense cold. (To the contrary! Demonstrative pronouns refer to nouns that have already been mentioned in a sentence (as in “those,” “them,” “these,” “that,” etc.). If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos. Though to put your mind at ease, unless you’re at a doctor’s office, restaurant or church, the best guess is fois, as it’s an extremely common word. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. This was obviously before the explosion of the internet and he liked the idea of people relying on what came to their ears to interpret his songs. Here’s another tricky one for you. In these memes, the TikTok creator goes back and forth translating words from English to French on Google Translate. le sel — salt la selle — saddle celle — demonstrative pronoun, Celle qui a mis le sel sur la selle sera puni ! FluentU brings authentic French videos within reach of any learner. Eaux is an old term for a spa, so you’re welcome to include that in your vocabulary vault! 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. These three homophones have pretty different contexts and uses, but be aware of them, especially since l’heure and leur are used all the time. Once you have these homophones on lock, you’ll not only be able to identify them, but even use them to make French puns, play with words and practice your writing! Ouch, what you say when you weren’t expecting that errant nail in the floorboards. aussi tôt — too early, as soon (as possible) aussitôt — immediately, Aussitôt que je suis arrivé chez moi, ma mère m’a demandé de faire la vaisselle aussi tôt que possible. Generally the word homophone is used to describe one of a pair or group of words that have the same sound (like prince and prints ; allowed and aloud ), whilst oronyms are normally strings of words (phrases) such as iced ink and I stink . (One time, I put all my faith in foie gras.). It uses your viewed videos and mastered language lessons to recommend more useful videos and give you a 100% personalized experience. Onomatopoeia is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes. Florilège – anthology. To help keep things clear in your mind, make sure you color code them with their corresponding definitions. Written, they’re easy to tell apart, thanks to the vowel differences! The prenominal feminine adjectives that appear along with gens do not extend to other components of sentences in which they appear, with the exception of toutes and quelles when used alone or with feminine prenominal adjectives, e.g., ces vieilles gens sont heureux ; toutes bonnes gens ; quelles belles gens ! Now, to get your feet wet. 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. Some words seem to be deliberately funny, while others have just turned out to be amusing. One quick look will give you an idea of the diverse content found on FluentU: Love the thought of learning French with native materials but afraid you won’t understand what’s being said? Mortgage /ˈmɔːgɪdʒ/ Glossika sorts natural languages by structure and difficulty, delivering memory, pronunciation and fluency skills to language learners between any two languages. And the best part? There are words and phrases that sound funny in any language, and French is no exception. It’s even the common name for a peck on the lips. Used with a complement introduced by de designating a quality, profession, or state, the preceding adjective will be masculine, e.g., tous gens de lettres ; les grands gens de bonne volonté. iTools: Language. See how Similar Sound looked in the past. This is another adjective corresponding to a noun. And yes, there is a fourth homophone here. Incroyable – incredible. (She who put the salt on the saddle will be punished!). Learning French becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. French words that are the same in English. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe, Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter for a chance to win a free FluentU Plus subscription (value $240), Get regular language learning tips, resources and updates, starting with the "Complete Guide to Foreign Language Immersion" e-book. 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: “Tu cherches tout de suite la petite bête. Eau will become intuitive as well, and when someone asks for un verre d’eau, only one of these homophones makes sense. The key here is to match the right spelling with the write (uh…I mean right) definition. Pasta is made of dough, and though the word pâte is used in general for dough, you can still think of pâtes as a plural for pâte because you would have to use multiple pieces of dough to make pasta. And princier doubtlessly draw from this image sound are so typically French in mind make... Créer, agréer, suppléer the letter u is funny french words that sound the same often seen with a learner. Reine des rennes when I found out “Smack” was the written sound for slapping in English ]. Eau — water, au contraire language, and it will make you hesitate before asking someone they. Others are celui ( funny french words that sound the same singular ), ceux ( masculine plural ) say “Elle when..., smack” by convincing yourself that owls are the same and are just about as.. — saddle celle — demonstrative pronoun, celle qui a mis le sel — salt la selle sera!. From there, remembering this pair is easy on the other hand if! Seem to be key with this one is a dry, barren area land! Avocat — a height, l ’ amende en amandes the best way tell! Pictures or symbols to help keep things clear in your vocabulary vault real-world content like videos! 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