Learning Article : You May Think You're Saying... (15 French Phrases You Thought You Knew )

Discuss the Article : You May Think You're Saying... (15 French Phrases You Thought You Knew )

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French is a beautiful, expressive language, but it’s frightfully easy to express oneself quite incorrectly. Here are some French phrases that mean entirely something else in French from what you might think — and some can make the innocent abroad sound like anything but!

May 6, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 6

It's a witty and well-written article, but there are several inaccuracies... Should have had a native French speaker edit it.

May 7, 2014

Yes, I was about to point out some. "vous avez DES raisins" (articles are mandatory in French. "Des" means "some"). "BonNE journée" (this word is feminine, so "bon" becomes "bonne"). "Blessez-vous" mean "hurt yourself" but I don't see when one would want to say it... Last comment: "je suis chaud" in Québec means "I'm drunk"!

May 7, 2014

Here's another I think I might never get right... I was told by a Frenchman, "C'est pas terrible" in lieu of meaning "It's not terrible" actually means "It is terrible"... Isn't that fun?


Also, "actuellement" does not mean "actually" but "at the current moment".  I have a whole book on the confusing words and expressions that do not have the same meaning in English.  I just review them from time to time to try to remember them when I need them.

May 14, 2014

My good French friend pointed out a few additional errors as well:


"j'ai un petit problème".............it's not always true, it can be just a little problem!


"vous avez raisins", is not correct, if you were in a store asking for grapes you would say" vous avez du raisin?"


 "il est sale" doesn't mean it is dirty but he is dirty. c'est sale, means it's dirty.


Let me also say I appreciate you posting this as I am also struggling to learn this beautiful language.



May 11, 2014
A reasonable collection of warnings for anyone at beginner to intermediate French levels. Using "garçon" to call a waiter is a definite no-no. Go with plain and simple monsieur or madame instead.
February 4, 2016
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