French Grammar Tip – “Faux Amis”

“Faux Amis” or “False Friends” are words that sound the same or similar in both French and English but have different meanings. They are called false friends because I guess just like a two faced friend they fool you. Some my students typically say “travailler” for “to travel” the correct verb is ‘Voyager” .Example: “Je ne travaille jamais le dimanche” – I never work on Sundays – “Voyagez- vous souvent ?” – Do you travel often ?

Another common mistake is to think that “rester” means “to rest” when it really means “to stay” – ” Il aime rester seul de temps en temps” – he likes to stay alone from time to time

To rest is french is “se reposer”…it is a reflexive verb, which has its own rules. Think of “repose”, to be in repose. “J’aime me reposer le dimanche”. I like to rest on Sundays.

Here are some more examples of false friends

Attendre – means to wait NOT “to attend”

Assister – That means “to attend” NOT to assist (someone) it can also mean “to witness” as in “avez-vous assisté au cambriolage?” Did you witness the robbery?

For more grammar tips or if you have a grammar question do not hesitate to contact me