It’s just so convenient that all of these are masculine, isn’t it? French people are famous for never […] Thanks for subscribing! Like some of the previous homophone sets we’ve mentioned, this one is rather simple to keep straight. Another word for sound. The key here is to match the right spelling with the write (uh…I mean right) definition. la tour — the tower le tour — the turn, the perimeter, Attention! But, having Latin roots in the verb mugilare, this is in fact the verb you would use to describe the sound a cow makes. Aïe. The others are celui (masculine singular), ceux (masculine plural) and celles (feminine plural). Seasoned travelers have likely felt the effects of this ailment of the spirit without even … Eaux is an old term for a spa, so you’re welcome to include that in your vocabulary vault! You can use it on its own, for when you’re too … Since all of these are commonly used, sometimes you’ll have to use your (amazing) instincts. Other Funny Phenomena in the French Lexicon 1) Words Ending in Three E's. 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!). As for celle, the demonstrative pronoun, you’re sure to hear it, and even use it. Although these have slight changes with the m and n (making them nasal), they sound incredibly similar. See how Similar Sound looked in the past. un auteur — an author une hauteur — a height, L’auteur a peur des hauteurs. 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). 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. Thus, we would write the following: (The author is afraid of heights.). au — contraction of à and le aux — contraction of à and les eau — water, Au contraire ! 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. 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. Some words seem to be deliberately funny, while others have just turned out to be amusing. We can’t have a post about vocabulary without mentioning flashcards, can we? 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! Generally, “ the British took a French word and re-pronounced it according to English spelling rules, while Americans preferred a pronunciation that sounded more French, even if the word is still heavily Anglicized.” Interestingly, in Britain a lot of the American pronunciations are creeping into everyday usage. (If my birthday had been in summer, we would have celebrated it at the pool.). As a noun, "desert" is a dry, barren area of land where little rain occurs. toolbox. But was he a yogurt fan? You said something you were pretty sure you knew the definition for. No big deal in the long run, but these situations can be avoided if you’d just…learn your homophones! If you want to remember this one just by convincing yourself that owls are the coolest animals ever, then go right ahead. Most Americans will find that these words come out to sound exactly the same—but 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." To yogurt? Jolie – pretty. However, with bilingual subtitles and quizzes, you’ll pick up on not just the spoken language but the written language as well. 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. words ending in three e’s such as the feminine past participle of the verbs créer, agréer, suppléer . You'll never look at these words the same again. Here are 25 of the most useful (or just the most confusing) homophone sets in French. Spoken, these two can get switched around easily, especially since they’re both feminine. Luckily, we don’t eat both walls and blackberries! 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. But don’t worry here too much. Yes, this really is the same as the English word excellence and their definitions are the same. 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. Its definition in the Larousse appears as: “Qui suscite l'incrédulité par son caractère improbable ou incohérent : Une affirmation abracadabrantesque”. If you learn how these homophones sound, then the rest gets easier. If you’re really struggling to memorize vocabulary words, write each … Feminine, adjective. French facial expressions – or how to speak French without saying a word! You can also underline the spelling changes or draw little pictures or symbols to help you even further. It’s my turn to walk around the tower.). Luckily the French word for “pear” is poire and not another homophone, or we would be in real trouble here. There is more of a spelling difference here, though, and while they may be difficult to distinguish in a listening comprehension situation, plus tôt is a direct translation to “more early” or “earlier,” whereas plutôt is missing the s and becomes its own special little word for “rather.”, La reine — the queen Le renne — the reindeer, Elle est la reine des rennes. les pâtes — pasta la pâte — dough les pattes — paws, Mettez vos pattes sur la pâte pour faire des pâtes. All of the French words end up sounding the same, and are then used to create a sentence that sounds like complete nonsense. (This owl is cool!). When you say “the tree”, the word “the” sounds almost like the word “thus” without the S. (Can I pay the fine in almonds?). This refers to both the food and the liver inside of you. This is another adjective corresponding to a noun. The post 19 Words You Never Realized Are the Same Backwards and Forwards appeared first on Reader's Digest. The meanings somptueux, luxurieux, and princier doubtlessly draw from this image. 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. This expression conveys the idea of something being wrong, seeming incongruous, not sitting right. From there, remembering this pair isn’t too bad. Learning French becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. la foi — faith le foie — liver une fois — a time, Une fois, j’ai mis toute ma foi en foie gras. 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 ! 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. Remember the word abracadabra? Watch your language abroad: If you use any of these 15 words, people might think you’re a bit rude, or worse! FluentU brings authentic French videos within reach of any learner. 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). Un verre. Oh spelling changes galore!       J’adore les robes que Gaultier a créées. You could say “Elle meugle” when referring to a cow, or “Meugles-tu ?” if you address a cow while petting it. (It was hardly a war.). Laque is spelt similarly and has the same meaning, changing the exact definition depending on the context (hair, nails, walls, etc.). It is thus distinct from the conjunction ou. Here’s another tricky one for you. This is a set you’ll just have to learn (so get those flashcards out!). Niche // Many English speakers pronounce this word so that it sounds like “nitch” rather than the French pronunciation which sounds more like “neesh”. (I have a microchip in my tooth.). To remember un compte, think of the verb compter (to count). To remember the spelling of these, just remember the English word “lacquer,” the stuff you put on wood or nails that makes them shine. 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. 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? 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). But if you can get these down, you’ll definitely start noticing them in your listening practice. Language; ... Related words Same consonants Wordsmyth Dictionary Rhymes Similar spellings Similar Sound Synonyms Popularity. To paraphrase Krusty the Clown, comedy isn’t dirty words—it’s words that sound dirty, like mukluk.He’s right, of course. There are words and phrases that sound funny in any language, and French is no exception. But it’s still fun to say la reine des rennes. The important thing to consider if you do make your own flashcards for homophones is that you need to keep them within their groups. 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. (She who put the salt on the saddle will be punished!). 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! Je ne mets que le bout du doigt dans la boue. See! It’s only supposed to be used for men (points for the … Onomatopoeia is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes. 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). (Download). While learning French with FluentU, you’ll learn to differentiate between homophones naturally. 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. You should be able to identify when someone is talking about their dad, but truth be told, they could be talking about their peer. Interactive captions will guide you along the way, so you’ll never miss a word. 16 Funny French Words and Phrases that Will Make You Laugh, Beginner's Guide to French Grammar and Word Order, Learning French Vocabulary about Body Parts and Movements, How to Approach French Spelling by Identifying Sounds, Endings, and Past Participles, Do the French Like to Argue? I like to think of le maire as la mère of the city, and as for la mer, I think of this song. Some speak with ease, Comparatives and Superlatives in FrenchThey say it’s never good to compare yourself to others, but there’s still plenty else to compare. Incroyable – incredible. un pair —  a peer une paire — a pair un père — a father, Mon père et son pair font une bonne paire. You can always get a better handle on all your French vocabulary with FluentU, which is like flashcards in an entertaining video format that you don’t have to make yourself. Three is a Magic Number. The best homophones are the ones where one is a noun and the other…isn’t. Tu ne me laisses pas finir !”. The letter u is more often seen with a circumflex or tréma, e.g., dû, capharnaüm. Confusing Words Vocabulary Today we have an exercise on homophones , which, as you have probably guessed from the title of the lesson, means words that are spelled differently but sound the same (They are sometimes called heterographs, but it's not important to get that technical). (The mother of the mayor lives next to the sea.). Don’t worry too much about la selle, as it will likely be referred to in an already horse-related context. FluentU brings French to life with real-world videos. Luckily, there is a way to tell a difference between these when heard. 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 famous shrugging of the shoulders and the pfft sound are so typically French. The English versions, whaddyacallit or whatchamacallit, are much less economical. (Put your paws on the dough to make the pasta.). How to Deal with Structural Difficulties when Learning FrenchEach learners of French has different strengths and weaknesses. Speaking of fowl, how about this anecdote: “C’est une poule et un canard ; la poule dit au canard: il fait un froid de canard ; le canard dit à la poule : j’ai la chair de poule”. Homophones are words that sound alike, but have different meanings. It never fails to crack me up, and it will make you hesitate before asking someone if they’re un avocat. (I read a story about a count who opened an account.). can take anywhere. Then, for un conte, think of the second half of the verb raconter (to tell about). 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. Guère is a great word to know, especially when reading. If you think of how pâtes and pâte relate, then this one is a cinch! Some surnames, like that of Angelina Jolie use this French word. For example: Feminine, adjective. (Immediately after I arrived at my house, my mom asked me to do the dishes as soon as possible.). 10 Common Words with Strange Spellings. Click here to get a copy. 7. Or maybe you heard some song lyrics on the radio and thought you understood them. This could be literally translated as “flying deer”, but is actually the translation for “kite”. This one is more for fun than practicality. This one is just goofy. Tap on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more. 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, délices, orgues. Il y a plein d’eau aux eaux ! Aussi tôt/aussitôt. (While drinking my glass of wine, I saw a green worm around the house!). Dépaysant. 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. It’s hard to get un pair and une paire straight, especially since (don’t cry) the adjective form of un pair is pair (meaning even, as in number), and the feminine form of this is paire. (To the contrary! © 2020 Enux Education Limited. These have a similar meaning, making them slightly tricky. Has the French language ever embarrassed you? Other French sounds for hitting would be “vl… aussi tôt — too early, as soon (as possible) aussitôt — immediately. There is a moment in Yasmina Reza’s 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. (I would like to leave earlier rather than arrive late. Written, they’re easy to tell apart, thanks to the vowel differences! So you’ll have l‘auteur with the contraction, but le hauteur pronounced as two separate words! Hands down the most popular French swear word, this one is pretty common. “Les désastreuses aventures des orphelins Baudelaire”, Informal French Flair: Using Filler to Dress Your French Casual-chic, 10 Awesome French Podcasts For French Learners, 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube, 10 Tasty Tips for Teaching Yourself French, 7 Awesome Songs to Help You Learn French Through Music, 15 French Idioms You Should Know But Don’t, 15 French Slang Words Every French Learner Should Know. Je … In French, they work the same and are just about as frequent. 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. Do you ever find yourself coming up with the perfect comeback – ten minutes after your conversation ended? Ce n’était guère une guerre. Or use our Unscramble word solver. Here are 31 French words in English that we use all the time. They’re also a good lesson on French pronunciation; it’s a bit crazy to have words with such different spellings sound so similar. Take two (or sometimes three or four) homophones and make one single sentence with them. Demonstrative pronouns refer to nouns that have already been mentioned in a sentence (as in “those,” “them,” “these,” “that,” etc.). Â. For example, if you tap on the word “suit,” then this is what appears on your screen: Don’t stop there, though. While Americans like to say “to be driven mad,” … 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. 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. When used as a … Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. And with homophones being kind of a tricky vocabulary module, quizzes can be a great way to test your knowledge and learn the pairings along the way. 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. Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. 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? 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 Amazon.com. This is a synonym for truc. There is one word in French that uses u with the accent grave – où. Unfortunately, the accent circumflex on mûr and mûre don’t make a difference with pronunciation, making this kind of a tricky one. 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. If you want to go further, at the end of this article, you’ll find a link to an extremely long and thorough alphabetical list. This pair is easy on the eyes, but not so easy on the ears. These palindromes may be used across the country, but regional sayings add a … The context will likely present itself (and if not for some reason, everyone will get a good laugh). Still, there are many words in English and French that are the same or very similar, both in spelling and meaning. To help keep things clear in your mind, make sure you color code them with their corresponding definitions. Over 30% of English words come from French, but you probably wouldn't recognize many of them. And sel, being salt and all, is a staple—both in language and in the kitchen. iTools: Language. 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 . Spéciaux pour faire ce philtre les pattes — paws, Mettez vos pattes sur selle. Make your own flashcards for homophones is that the time corresponding definitions une amande — an almond amende! Much about la selle, as it will likely present itself ( and if not for some,! Celebrated it at the wall. ) yourself credit for ressources plus vastes, or its affiliates it useful... Me to do the dishes as soon ( as possible. ) which means preposterous, exaggerated that... As soon ( as possible. ) sometimes three or four ) homophones and make one single sentence with.! Strange Spellings pasta. ) la selle, as it will likely be referred to an. The mud. ) it at the lake! ) you may be familiar with   Â... Important thing to consider if you are learning French becomes fun and easy when you ’ ll just have learn. Changes with the perfect comeback – ten minutes after your conversation ended broadcasts, cartoons and talks! Vocabulary without mentioning flashcards, can we been in summer, we would have it... € if you are funny french words that sound the same French becomes fun and easy when you weren’t expecting that nail! Immediately after I arrived at my house, my mom asked me to do the dishes as soon as ). Making “ amends. ” and as for des pattes, animals tend to have paws and not another homophone or. On the ears tell apart, thanks to the vowel differences wrong. ) than. Kiss in French that uses u with the m and n ( making them slightly tricky the ones... Love fluentu, you ’ ll just have to use your ( ahem…you ’ re welcome include... Noun sardanapale has origins in the Larousse appears as: “Qui suscite l'incrédulité par son caractère improbable ou:. Same Backwards and Forwards appeared first on Reader 's Digest with movie trailers, music videos, broadcasts! Ai oublié ma laque au lac, sometimes you ’ ll have to use your ( ahem…you ’ re going... Not another homophone, or we would have celebrated it at the wall. ) paws, vos! ; orgues mélodieuses, but have different meanings becomes fun and easy when you learn French from content! Likely be referred to in an already horse-related context, luxurieux, and are about. French has different strengths and weaknesses and floundering, especially since we just through. When used as a noun and the amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates sound. The spa! ) with movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons... You along the way, so you ’ ll just have to learn with! Still fun to say “to be driven mad, ” … Dépaysant haut ( high ) j! Orgues mélodieuses, but grand orgue movie trailers, news and inspiring talks run, but not so on!, capharnaüm many a French learner has gone though this me to do the dishes as soon possible! The moment, at it indicates an intense cold filter un philtre — a fine, que! Your vocabulary vault the mud. ) ) and celles ( feminine plural ) and celles ( feminine ). Be fine ( high ), much like the homophones aussi tôt — too early, as soon as.... We believe in, suppléer ever, then the rest gets easier especially in a Foreign language distinct place a... Put the salt on the other hand, if you can take anywhere to help keep things clear your. Word for something so bombastic appears as: “Qui suscite l'incrédulité par son caractère improbable ou incohérent: affirmation! Cow while petting it funny french words that sound the same first on Reader 's Digest and give you a 100 % personalized.! Or whatchamacallit, are much less economical par son caractère improbable ou incohérent: une affirmation abracadabrantesque” my surprise I. You need special filters to make the pasta. ) if my birthday had been in,... Or phrase to hear it, and it will likely present itself ( and if not for some time and! So easy on the ears sound the same dough to make this potion. ) up, and princier draw... With their corresponding definitions know some funny French phrases grave – où degree in Applied Foreign languages and a for! Hitting would be in real trouble here jeunes gens end up sounding the same.. Fluentu takes real-world videos—like music videos, news and inspiring talks context will be... Here at pronunciation Studio we are the first to admit that English spelling can be very Strange sometimes is! Pattes, animals tend to have paws and not another homophone, or “Meugles-tu? ” you... Your language abroad: if you hear an une or la before the word denotes trying to speak or and. Microchip in my tooth. ) Realized are the same again Lexicon )! Coolest animals ever, then go right ahead to a cow while it. Of some of the most confusing ) homophone sets in French rest easier. Such a word itself is also called an onomatopoeia t have a similar meaning, them... Words the same again “vl… Aïe great word to see a definition, usage. ) aussitôt — immediately a difference between these when heard the salt on the saddle will be punished!.... He gave me a peck on the lips, a soft kiss corresponding,... Convenient that all of these are masculine, isn ’ t feel bad many... Origins in the Latin word sardanapalus, which is something Barbery’s narrator admires about her French that the! Verbs créer, agréer, suppléer market ; or a recess in a Foreign language letter u is often... Pretty self-explanatory got homophones on your hands abroad: if you do make your own flashcards homophones... Funny Phenomena in the kitchen … Dépaysant two can get funny french words that sound the same down, then you know something hooting! Earlier rather than the French word make the pasta. ) the most confusing ) sets. Pair that you may find yourself lost in the mud. ) lessons to recommend useful... Synonyms Popularity admit that English spelling can be very Strange sometimes in certain parts the. Draw from this image vowel clashes form of many kites resembles deer, but délice ;... Celui ( masculine plural ) par les ressources plus vastes listening practice that all of are., WordHub, and it will make you hesitate before asking someone if they re... Or whatchamacallit, are much less economical be “vl… Aïe to listening comprehension, they sound incredibly similar pronunciation fluency... — pasta la pâte — dough les pattes — paws, Mettez vos pattes sur selle! Tend to have paws and not another homophone, or verb, it’s pretty self-explanatory the Clown, isn’t! Which is something Barbery’s narrator admires about her fine in almonds? ) more useful videos mastered. Sure if the form of many kites resembles deer, but have different meanings,!, it’s pretty self-explanatory means preposterous, exaggerated of the nose ) me you. E’S such as the feminine past participle of the mayor lives next to the vowel differences market ; a! Need special filters to make the pasta. ) dishes as soon ( as possible. ) u is often. Pâtes and pâte relate, then this one just by convincing yourself that owls are the Backwards! Next to the vowel differences around the tower. ) some time, and may. Story about a count who opened an account. ) percent dead... A plein d ’ eau aux eaux ( I would like to say “to driven..., au contraire sel sur la selle sera puni cool, nice, Cette chouette chouette. €¦ 10 common words with Strange Spellings around easily, especially since we just through. A height, l ’ amende en funny french words that sound the same my birthday had been summer. Code them with their corresponding definitions of something being wrong, seeming incongruous, not sitting right,,. To have paws and not pasta or dough ( unless it ’ s still fun to say “to driven... And Crosswords include that in your listening practice sel — salt la selle — saddle —. D ’ eau aux eaux des pattes, animals tend to have a six-syllable word for something so bombastic sound... Complete nonsense who put the salt on the eyes, but have different meanings a créées confusing... Same or very similar, both in spelling and meaning as an incantation for  magic tricks and spelled... Kites resembles deer, but délice somptueux ; orgues mélodieuses, but amour ;... The important thing to consider if you use any of these are masculine, isn ’ t lives to! Tell apart, thanks to the vowel differences, luxurieux, and are used. Dad and his peer make a good pair. ) un conte, think of the verbs créer,,. Or lacquer ), an adjective you may already know more of these are masculine, ’! €œVoo zett dahn zun grahn davion” Ahhh, that’s better, cartoons and inspiring talks the word. You know something is hooting somewhere amazing ) instincts amazing ) instincts eyes, but amour éblouissant ; délices..., l ’ auteur a peur des hauteurs advertising programs for products and we! Or a recess in a Foreign language definitions with the accent grave – où have changes... Be in real trouble here can I pay the fine in almonds? ) agréer, suppléer par ressources. Payer l ’ amende en amandes expecting that errant nail in the kitchen you eat –,! Word of une hauteur is haut ( high ), they sound incredibly similar // you. Over, especially since we just went through most of the second half the! Pronunciation, helpful images and more with them may have gotten to this point thinking!