French Word of the Day

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

essayer, essayer de

to try on, to try to

J’essaie la chemise. J’essaie de confectionner une chemise.
I’m trying on the shirt. I’m trying to make a shirt.

In French, a verb’s meaning can change considerably depending upon the preposition that follows it. Today’s example shows how verbs and prepositions can get together to form entirely different ideas. This is also a good time to remind ourselves that French verbs do not always take the same prepositions as their English counterparts.