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.
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
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
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
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.
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.