pareil
la reconnaissance

même

French Word-A-Day will be on break from December 10th - January 4th.

Menu du Jour: Homonyms (part II) and "A Day in the Life..."

même (mem) adjective
1. same
2. the same (one)
3. even

Expressions:
être à même de = to be capable of
quand même = all the same; honestly!
merci quand même = thanks anyway
de même que = just as
tout de même = even so, nonetheless

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Citation du Jour
Le racisme est une manière de déléguer à l'autre le dégoût qu'on a de soi-même.
Racism is a way of delegating to another the disgust that we have for ourselves.
--Robert Sabatier

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A Day in a French Life...

I was in the kitchen peeling potatoes when 7-year-old Jackie rushed in, out of breath:

"Comment dire 'toi-même' en anglais?"
(How do you say 'yourself' in English?)

"Yourself," I replied.

With that, she ran out of the kitchen, to rendre la pareille.* (I imagine she meant to say something back to her brother, along the lines of "No, YOU are!" (...the Big Dodo, etc.)

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*References: rendre la pareille = to "get back" (at someone), to get revenge.

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Homonyms  Part II  by Barbara Barles

In French there are many words that have the exact same pronunciation but a completely different meaning. Orally, the phrase's context should permit one to know which word is being employed. Here are a few examples:

- Cane (n.f.) et canne (n.f.)
(female duck and cane)
pronounced "kahn"

- Mot (n.m.) et maux (n.m.; pluriel de mal)
(word and pain)
pronounced "mo"

- Amande (n.f.) et amende (n.f.)
(almond and fine)
pronounced "a-mond"

- Pâte (n.f.) et patte (n.f.)
(pastry and paw)
pronounced "pat"

- Cou (n.m.), coup (n.m.) et coût (n.m.)
(neck, blow and cost)
pronounced "koo"

- Vin (n.m.), vingt (adj et n.m.) et vain (adj.) (fém:vaine)
(wine, twenty and vain)
pronounced vaN -- silent "n" (nasal)

To review Part I on Homonyms, visit:
http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/motdujour/2004/12/pareil.html


Barbara Barles is a French legal expert based in Toulon, France.

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