French Resembling Two English Words

French that somewhat resembles two English words can be helpful or misleading. For example, the French word ‘PARTIR’:

PARTIR looks most like the English word ‘PART’, which is not what it means.

PARTIR looks less like the English word ‘DEPART’, which is what it means.

So when seeing this French word PARTIR, the natural first reaction of an English-speaker who does not know French is to mistakenly think it is related to ‘PART’ in English.

With French words that are ambiguous in this way, the resemblance to English could work against you -- rather than help you understand and remember the French word more easily (as is true of other French words that resemble English words).

So when you see any French word that looks like two English words, it will help if you associate it with the correct English word.

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FRENCH WORDS RESEMBLING TWO ENGLISH WORDS

carte -- MEANS -- card -- NOT -- cart

casher - MEANS - kosher -- NOT -- cashier

court(e) -- MEANS -- short -- NOT -- court

échecs -- MEANS -- chess -- NOT -- checks

formulaire -- MEANS -- form -- NOT -- formula

graver -- MEANS -- engrave -- NOT -- grave

lin -- MEANS -- linen -- NOT -- line

marché -- MEANS -- market -- NOT -- march

messe -- MEANS -- Mass (relig.) -- NOT -- mess

minuit -- MEANS -- midnight -- NOT -- minute

neveu -- MEANS -- nephew -- NOT -- never

part(ir) -- MEANS -- depart -- NOT -- part

peindre -- MEANS -- painting -- NOT -- pain

thon -- MEANS -- tuna -- NOT -- ton

trop -- MEANS -- too -- NOT -- troop

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Some French words look exactly like an English word, but actually mean another English word that is spelled somewhat like the French word.

It can be helpful if the French word has a different pronunciation than the English word it is spelled like -- because that makes it sound different than the English word it is spelled like, and helps make it clear that it is actually a foreign word.

FRENCH -- [SAY] -- MEANS -- ENGLISH -- NOT

coin - [kwehng] - MEANS - corner - NOT - coin

gaze -- [gahz] -- MEANS -- gauze -- NOT -- gaze

mariné - [mah-ree-NAY] - MEANS - marinated - NOT - marine

mars - [mahrss] - MEANS - March (month)

quart - [kahr] - MEANS - quarter - NOT - quart

salé - [sah-LAY ] - MEANS - salty - NOT - sale

short - [‘short’] - MEANS - shorts - NOT - short

thé - [tay] - MEANS - tea - NOT - the

ton - [tawng] - MEANS - tone - NOT - ton

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FRENCH WORDS MEANING TWO ENGLISH WORDS

assurance - MEANS - insurance AND - assurance

café - MEANS - coffee - AND - café

mars - MEANS - March (month) - AND Mars

tour - MEANS - tower - AND - tour

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FRIENDS IN DISGUISE

The Easy French Words that resemble English are like good friends you happen to see in a foreign country.

And the French words that resemble two English words can be thought of as Friends in Disguise that may at first appear to be something different, but down underneath really are familiar friends.

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FALSE COGNATES

A False Cognate, also known as a False Friend, is a French word that looks like an English word, but has a different meaning.

So a False Cognate can be misleading, especially to someone looking to be helped by Easiest French Words that look like English words.

If the French False Cognate is spelled somewhat differently than the English word, this can help you realize that this is truly a foreign word, and probably not related to the English word it looks something like.

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LINK TO FRENCH FALSE COGNATES:


French False Cognates.


Return to French Spelled Like English.


Return to Easiest French Introduction.



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