Gentil vs Gentle
Gentil usually means nice or kind: Il a un gentil mot
pour chacun - He has a kind word for everyone. It can also mean
good, as in il a été gentil - he was a good boy.
Gentle can also mean kind, but in
the more physical sense of soft or not rough. It can be translated by
doux, aimable, modéré, or léger: He is gentle
with his hands - Il a la main douce. A gentle breeze - une
Grand vs Grand
Grand is a semi-false cognate. It means both great (e.g.,
un grand homme - a great man) and large or tall: elle est grande
- she's tall, une grande quantité - a large quantity.
Grand is a very versatile term.
It can mean large or impressive in size, scope, or extent; rich and
sumptuous; pleasing; and/or important/principal.
is a cluster: une grappe de raisins - a bunch of grapes,
grappes humaines - clusters of grapes.
Grape is un raisin.
to anything that is given for free: la gratuité de l'éducation
- free education.
Gratuity is un pourboire
or une gratification.
Un grief is
a grievance: Il me fait grief d'être au chômage
- He holds my unemployed status against me.
Grief refers to great sadness or
chagrin: I'd never felt such grief - Je n'ai jamais senti une
Habit vs Habit
one's dress or outfit; Habits means
Habit refers to something a
person does regularly, even to the point of addiction: habitude,
coutume. It can also refer to a nun's outfit: habit de religieuse.
Haineux is from haine
- hatred. It means malevolent or full of hatred.
Heinous means atrocious/horrific:
odieux, atroce, abominable.
a semi-false cognate. In addition to hazard, it can mean coincidence,
chance (e.g., a chance meeting), or fate. Par hasard -
Hazard refers to un risque,
danger, or péril.
Ignorer vs Ignore
Ignorer is a semi-false cognate. It nearly means to be ignorant
or unaware of something: j'ignore tout de cette affaire - I know
nothing about this business.
Ignore means to deliberately not
pay attention to someone or something. The usual translations are ne
tenir aucun compte de, ne pas relever, and ne pas
prêter attention à.
Inconsistant vs Inconsistent
Inconsistant indicates poor consistency: flimsy, weak,
colorless, runny, or watery. In a more general
sense, it can be translated by inconsistent.
Inconsistent means lacking consistency
or being erratic: inconséquent, incompatible.
means authority, official proceedings, or insistence.
Instance refers to something that
is representative of a group, an example - un exemple.
is a semi-false cognate. In addition to interesting, it can mean
attractive, worthwhile, or favorable (e.g., a price
Interesting means captivating, worth
looking at, etc.
Intoxiqué means poisoned, while intoxicated
means drunk - ivre.
Jars vs Jars
Jars is the French word for gander - a male
Jars are wide-mouthed containers
made of glass or pottery: pots, jarres.
to a day.
Journey is un voyage
Kidnapper vs Kidnapper
Kidnapper is the French verb to kidnap.
Kidnapper refers to the person who
does the deed - un ravisseur / une ravisseuse.
Lac vs Lack
is a large body of water - lake.
Lack is a deficiency or absence
- un manque.
Laid vs Laid
is an adjective meaning ugly.
Laid is the past tense of the English
verb to lay: he laid his briefcase on the table - il a posé
son porte-documents sur la table, she was laid on the ground - elle
était déposée au sol.
is a noun: strip (of wood or metal), slide (of a microscope),
Lame is an adjective: boiteux,
the French adjective for wide, broad, or expansive.
It can also mean generous or ample.
Large is synonomous with big
- grand, vaste, gros, important.
refers to reading in all senses of the word.
Lecture indicates a speech on
a particular subject, especially for academic purposes: une conférence.
Librairie vs Library
is a bookstore, while Library in
French is une bibliothèque.
is a sweet, flavored alcoholic beverage: J'ai bu une liqueur après
le dîner - I drank a cordial after dinner.
Liquor can mean any alcoholic beverage,
but most often refers to hard liquor: Liquor is his only vice
- L'alcool est son vice unique.
is a bed.
Lit is the past participle
of to light: allumer or éclairer.
Location vs Location
Location refers to something that is available for rent,
such as a house or car. C'est pour un achat ou pour une location
? - Is it to buy or to rent?
Location indicates the position
or placement of someone/something: It's a suitable location for
a bakery - C'est une emplacement convenable à une boulangerie.
Logeur vs Lodger
Logeur is the landlord - the person who rents out rooms,
while a Lodger is the opposite - the person
who rents/stays in the rooms: locataire, pensionnaire.
diamond (in shape).
Lozenge is une pastille
(pour la toux).
is the general word for a store. It is also equivalent to the magazine
of a gun.
Magazine is une revue or un périodique.
is the French word for the old-fashioned meaning of mall, i.e.,
a tree-lined walk or square.
Mail as a noun = poste
or courrier; as a verb = envoyer or expédier
(par la poste), poster.
Main vs Main
is the French noun for hand.
Main is the English adjective for
principal, premier, majeur, or essentiel.
Malice vs Malice
Malice is a semi-false cognate; it can mean malice or simply
mischievousnous or mischief.
Malice has only the stronger meaning
of deliberate cruelty: méchanceté or malveillance.
While both of these are colors, Marron
is brown and Maroon is a reddish
color, best translated by bordeaux.
Mécanique vs Mechanic
Mécanique is an adjective which means mechanical
Mechanic is a worker skilled in
making, repairing, or using machines: un mécanicien.
can be a noun - liar or an adjective - false. Mentir
- to lie.
Mentor is a noun - mentor,
is the French word for thank you. It can also mean mercy,
but this is quite uncommon.
Mercy refers to pitié,
indulgence, or miséricorde.
Mere is an adjective meaning
simple, pur, seul, etc.
Mode vs Mode
a semi-false cognate. Normally, it means fashion; à la
mode literally means in fashion or fashioable.
Mode is a manner or way of doing
something: a mode of life - une manière de vivre or a
particular form, variety, or manner: a mode of communication - une
façon de communiquer. It can also refer to status: The computer
is in interactive mode - L'ordinateur est en mode conversationnel.
can refer to currency, coin(age), or change.
Money s the general term for argent.
Mousse is a semi-false cognate. It does refer to the dessert
and hair product, but it also means such diverse things as moss, lather,
or foam - so it's very important to pay attention to the context! This
includes the foam in beer or a bottle of champagne.
Mousse simply refers to the dessert:
chocolate mousse - mousse au chocolat or a styling product: hair
mousse - mousse coiffante.
Mouton vs Mutton
Mouton can refer both to the animal (sheep) as well as
the meat (mutton).
Mutton refers only to the meat.
Napkin vs Napkin
Napkin is not in any of my dictionaries, but I learned
the hard way :-) that it means a sanitary napkin: J'ai besoin d'un
napkin - I need a sanitary napkin.
Napkin is correctly translated by
serviette: I need a napkin - J'ai besoin d'une serviette.