French Word of the Day

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Sunday, December 30, 2012


to wait

J’attends ma mère.
I’m waiting for my mother.

Attendre means to wait. If you want to say you’re attending to somebody or something, you would use the verb assister. So, if you were attending to your mother, rather than waiting for her, you would say: J’assiste à ma mère.

Our example illustrates an especially useful topic. While French and English have many cognates — words that are derived from the same root word and consequently look and sound a lot alike — these words sometimes have similar meanings but other times, as with our example today, do not. When they don’t, they are called false cognates and can provide pitfalls for language learners.

Vocabulary Section: False Cognates, Verbs, Word of the Day