Art et Séduction

How to seduce “the French way” ?

French people need romance to be unexpected, a coup de cœur, a smack to the heart. … 

Here are a few ways to approach a French girl with finesse:

« Excusez-moi de vous importunez » (EN : Sorry to bother you)

« Je suis nouveau ici… » (EN : I am new here…)

« Des endroits à me conseiller… » (EN : Any places you would like to recommend…)

« Puis-je vous offrir un verre ? » (EN : Can I offer you a drink?)

« Puis-je vous voler quelques minutes de votre précieux temps ? » (EN : Can I steal a few minutes of your precious time?)

« Mes yeux ne peuvent vous quitter… » (EN : My eyes can’t get over you…)

« Puis-je vous confier un secret, j’ai perdu la tête en vous voyant… » (EN : Can I tell you a secret, I have lost my mind when I saw you…)

« Je ne parle pas bien Français, voulez-vous m’apprendre ? » (EN : I don’t speak French very well, would you mind teaching me?)

« M’accorderez-vous cette danse ? » (EN : Shall we dance ?)

« Bonjour,  puis-je vous embêter quelques secondes ? » (EN : Hi, can I bother you a few seconds ?)

« Bonjour, je cherche cette adresse, pouvez-vous m’aider ? » (EN :  Hi, I am looking for this place, can you help me?)

kikk

Also we will give you tips to avoid knock-back (FR: Prendre un râteau):

-Don’t chat up  (FR: draguer) a woman on public transport such as the Métro

-Don’t be heavy / insistent

-Be a gentleman / lady

-Speak French, even if you only know a few words… (S)he will fall for your accent

-Compliment her / him

-Be romantic (FR: être romantique)

-Be original

-Play the game: If (s)he is going to play with your emotions, play with hers/his. The typical femme Française loves the chase.

-Be open to seduction in chat-friendly scenarios

hasard

We have also built a playlist with her / his favourite tunes (cliché):

-Beautiful by James Blunt

-Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye

-Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye

-You can leave your hat on by Joe Cocker

-Angels by Robbie Williams

loveparis

Glossary

FR EN
Séduire Appeal to / Charm
Se laisser séduire Let yourself be charmed
Faire un clin d’œil To wink
Embrasser To kiss
Avoir un regarde braise To smolder
Ecrire une lettre d’amour To write a love letter
Envoyer des fleurs Send flowers
Se rapprocher To get closer
Flatteries Smooth talk
Epargne moi ton baratin Spare me the sweet talk
Se faire draguer To get chatted up / get hit on
Jouer avec le feu To flirt with disaster
Dîner en amoureux To have a candlelight diner
Rouler une pelle To make out with someone
Tomber amoureux To fall in love
Avoir un rdv galant To go on a date

If you have no idea where to take your date, here are some recommendations:

A pique-nique in front of the Canal Saint-Martin
To surprise her/ him, contact Marion, your BFF for a night and she will deliver an amazing basket with some bubbles to make this moment unforgettable. /Contact: Marion 06 09 57 32 57/

A cruise on the River Seine
A scenery you won’t forget. The captain of the cruise will also provide you champagne and petit fours. /Adresse : 6 Quai Jean Compagnon, 94200 Ivry Sur Seine/

cruise

Claus, for a « special » breakfast. /14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001 Paris/

brunch-claus

La Corte, At the bottom of a secret passage, you will find the perfect restaurant charm your date. /320 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris/

la-corte

Le Restaurant Biotiful is a colorful and cozy  in the 17th arrondissement. /18 rue Biot, Paris 75017/

biotiful

Le Gravity Barwith its warm atmosphere and its wooden desigh you can only spend a great evening. /44 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010/

gravity-bar

Le Pas de loupour favorite spot in Paris. We can’t tell you why.. Find out at /108 rue Amelot, Paris 75011/

pas-de-loup

 

The game is worth the reward…


French As You Like Survival Guide to Winter

This is the part of the year where your feel worn out and your immune system (système immunitaire) is known as an “open window”. Unless you live in a bulle, you will be exposed to infections. And apart from staying inside all winter (hiver) with your head under a duvet and avoiding all possible human being, you will need to protect your health and reinforce (renforcer) your immune defences (défenses immunitaires).

  • Favoriser (favour) Vitamines D et Magnésium (vitamin and magnesium)

To protect your organisme (organism) against germs (microbes), Magnesium and Vitamin D activates both the white blood cells (globules blancs) needed for the creation of antibodies (anticorps). You’ll find vitamin D in various foods such as smoked herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies or cod liver oil. For magnesium, you can eat seafood, almonds, cashew, tofu, or dark chocolate 70% minimum. You have a good reason not to take chocolate out of your diet.

  • N’oubliez pas les Vitamines C

Vitamin C stimulates the creation of interferon (interféron), this molecule is produced by our immune system cells to destroy germs. Drink a large glass of fresh squize orange juice (jus d’orange pressé) every morning or eat clementines, lemon, blackcurrant or kiwi. We suggest you a colourful fruit salad, it is like adding a “little summer” to your day.

  • Ajoutez les Probiotiques (add probiotics) à votre liste de course (shopping list)

70% of our immune system is in our intestin (intestine), so it ‘s important to do a course of probiotics (cure de probiotique) to strengthen your intestinal mucosa (musqueuse intestinale). Take a mixture of lactobacilli daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced the risk of catching a cold (rhume). You can find probiotics in yogurt, but also in artichoke, leeks, brewer’s yeast or wheat germ.

  • Bien se couvrir (Cover yourself up) !

It is important to warm yourself enough. Always keep your neck covered (protéger / couvrir) and try to choose thermal clothes (matières thermales). In Paris, the weather is always changing, from sun to rain and it is easy to get sick when you don’t have the right outfit.

  • Dormez et relaxez vous (Sleep and relax)

You need at least 7 à 8 heures de sommeil (7 to 8 hours sleep) per night so make sure to organise your day efficiently. You need to spend time on yourself, treat yourself with a massage or a diner between friends… You immune sytem will thank you for this, the more your mind will be clear and relaxed, the more your body will be healthy (en bonne santé).

  • Lavez-vous les mains souvent (Wash your hands often)

Virus (Viruses) can live on the surface of many objects for hours so regular hand washing is the simplest way to avoid carrying and ingesting these viruses. In case you spend more time outdoors, use antibacterial hand gel (gel antibactérien) that you can carry in your bag or slip in your pocket.

  • Astuce (trick) from a French As You like It Student

Add a few drops (gouttes) of sunflower oil (huile de tournesol) to your homemade smoothie or to a glass of water each morning. Sunflower oil contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. The health benefits are various: Cardiovascular benefits, Anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatoire), Prevent Arthritis, Prevention of Asthma and types of cancer, Lowers Cholesterol, Fight free radicals, Repairs the body, Skin and hair benefits…

Where to go arround our school?

For fruit and vegetable, you can go to many places. We can suggest you some amazing product at:

Primeur du Marais : 61 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris

Vergers Saint Paul : 97 Rue Saint-Antoine

Sea food

Le Comptoir des Mers : 1 Rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris

Fromagerie (Dairy)

Fromagerie Laurent Dubois : 97-99 Rue Saint-Antoine

Organic products – included sun flower oil

Naturalia : 59 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris

Bio C’ Bon : 103 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris

Thermal clothes

Au vieux Campeur : 48 Rue des Ecoles, 75005

Massage and Spa

Bulle de Plaisir : 66 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004

Ban Thai Spa : 12 Rue Lesdiguieres, 75004

Lexique

Beginner

Healthvocabulary1

Intermediate

Healthvocabulary2

 

Let us know in the comments below what are your tips to fight Winter …


A French As You Like It Valentine's tale...

Being one of the most romantic cities of the world, Paris is covered in breathless and charming places for any lovebirds (des tourtereaux). It is also the Capital where Love happens…

11

Friday – 6:35pm at sunset (le  coucher du soleil), after a real-life situation French lesson (Leçon de Français en extérieur) in Le Centre – Georges Pompidou, Si gently escorted his French teacher back to her bike. Both living in the same area Ile Saint Louis, they ended up walking back home together…

georges

This was the beginning of a love story (une histoire d’amour).

Si, a British man from the Hampshire moved to Paris for Professional purposes. Like many foreigners, he was motivated to enhance his oral skills in French in order to feel more confident within his company or in his personal life (vie personnelle). He requested information from 3 language school which were offering interesting French learning program, however what he appreciate from French As You Like It was the personal approach (une approche personnelle). Agnès contacted Si by phone and she organized an appointment with him at his office the next day to talk about his different goals and expectations.

“She made a good impression” (une bonne impression) Si says. She was confident (confiante) and he was really impressed to see how determined she looked. She perfectly knew what she was talking about and we could notice she was passionate (passionnée) about her job. He then signed up for French one-on-one lessons every week at his office or out and about. It’s important to link theory to real-life situations when learning (apprendre) a new language.

Si is convinced that you always build a kind of relationship (une relation) with your private teacher. You end up by sharing (partager) some personal aspects of your life. It might look bizarre but when you cancel a lesson for instance, you want to let your teacher know about the reasons. However he admits, Agnès being a charming (charmante) and really attractive (attirante) woman. Looking always smart, she always released la “joie de vivre”. She is a woman with personality, adventurous and really genuine, the type of woman Si can’t resist.

ile

A couple of month later, Agnès and Si walked back home and finally had their first dinner (un diner) in a Canadian pub where he treated her with the well-known Poutine: chips with cheese and gravy. Si remembers, they had two official dates (rendez-vous amoureux): one in the Hameau de la Reine, the hamlet in the middle of the parc of the Chateau of Versailles and the other one on the night of Halloween. Agnès was all dressed up and they both ended up getting some Chinese food for dinner at La Muraille du Phénix.

hameau

We wondered what was the most important thing they have learnt being together (ensemble) and we understand the diversity (diversité) and the differences of culture (la difference des cultures) had made them a powerful couple. They share permanently and they both love discovering new aspect of each other every day. It is the advantage of being a mixed couple.

We asked Si if he kept something as a Symbol (un Symbole) of their Love story and here is his answer:

At this period, Kenzo promoted its famous perfume Flower By Kenzo. As part of the promotion, they hitched (accrocher) handicraft (artisanal) poppies (coquelicot) to bicycles. Agnès found one on hers that day, came into his office with the poppy in her hand and handed it (tendre à qqun qqch) to him. He thought she was exactly like the description of the perfume: unpredictable (imprévisible), strong (forte) and beautiful (belle). The only embarrassing point was the arrival of his CEO at the same moment.

We asked Si to tell us a final word about his story with our amazing Agnès: “We’ve been together for a few years now and I think she is the best choice I have ever made, thank you for being part of my life Agnès”.

We also asked Agnès to list us places she has been with Si, she said there is so much to remember but gave us a few of them:

Where to eat?

Le Café Français

Brasserie du Printemps

Le Petit Palais

Restaurant l’Horloge

Le temps des Cerises

Where to go?

Centre Georges Pompidou

Cimetière Père Lachaise

Les Berges – Quai de la Seine

L’Ile Saint Louis

Le Marais


Quiz: Amener, Apporter, Emmener, Emporter

Pop quiz! How much did you absorb from our post on the French “bring / take” verbs: amener, apporter, emmener and emporter?

Think you’ve got it? Well, here’s a chance to test your knowledge.

Review the post, then take the quiz below. If you have any questions about this quiz or about these verbs, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments below.

Ready…? Allez!

 

  1. J’_______ mon fils à son cours de violon à 8h. Mon mari ira le chercher à 9h.

a) emmène

b) apporte

c) amène

 

  1. Chaque dimanche, Jacques ­­­­­­­­_______ le petit déjeuner au lit à sa femme.

a) apporte

b) emmène

c) emporte

 

  1. Françoise ________ nos enfants à Disneyland demain; je crois qu’elle-même adore les attractions !

a) amènera

b) emmènera

c) emportera

 

  1. “S’il te plaît, _____-moi l’éponge à côté de l’évier. J’ai renversé un verre d’eau.”

a) emmène

b) emporte

c) apporte

 

  1. Quand vous préparez votre voyage de ski, n’oubliez pas ________ de la crème solaire. Même en février il peut y avoir beaucoup de soleil!

a) apporter

b) emporter

c) amener

 

  1. _____-vous quelqu’un au pique-nique ce samedi?

a) Amenez

b) Apportez

c) Emmenez

 

      7.  Non, nous ne pouvons pas être là avant 17h. Nous _______ notre voiture de location au garage.

 a)rapportons

b) ramenons

c) remmenons

 

      8.  Ils ______ leur chat avec eux quand ils nous rendent visite.

a) apportent

b) emmènent

c) amènent

 

     9.  “Peux-tu _____ Marie chez elle? Elle habite dans ton quartier.”

a) amener

b) ramener

c) remmener

 

 10.  Alice, n’oublie pas de______ ton livre quand tu pars. Merci de l’avoir prêté!

a) emmener

b) apporter

c) emporter

 

Answers:

 1) c 2) a 3) b 4) c 5) b 6) a 7) b 8) b 9) a 10) c

 

Any questions? Ask us below or call us for a private French lesson!

 

 


On y va! French Beach Vocabulary

These days in Paris, we’re experiencing une canicule (a heatwave). If you weren’t already thinking of heading à la plage (to the beach) for a refreshing getaway, you probably are now!

France has thousands of lovely beaches, from the sweeping golden shores found on the Atlantic Coast in places such as Bretagne (Brittany), Normandie (Normandy) and Biarritz, to the hidden coves and sparkling turquoise waters of la Mediterranée (the Mediterranean) in the South of France. The stunning island of Corse (Corsica) also offers extraordinary white sand beaches, and you’ll find amazing, plages sauvages (wild/unspoiled beaches) in the Poitou-Charente region.

If you’re really desperate for some sand-time but can’t leave Paris, there’s always Paris plage, an artificial beach created for one month every summer in the city center. This beach, which runs along the Seine, has several tons of imported sable (sand), chaises longues (beach chairs) and palmiers (palm trees), ice-cream stands, live music, and plenty of other activities. Although you’re not going to think yourself swept away to a beach in Cannes, it’s definitely worth a visit.

 French Beach Attire

If you’re going to French beach for the first time, you should there are a few things you should know – mainly about attire. Depending on where you are from, it may surprise you to see men of every age wearing tiny Speedos, and women of every age wearing tiny bikinis, and small children wearing nothing at all. In France, the body isn’t something to be hidden away in shame. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear as little as possible.

Which brings me to plages naturistes (nude beaches). You may have heard about France’s nude beaches, and it’s true that they are plentiful here. But that doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable for adults to run around tout nu (fully naked) any beach they choose. If you want to get naked on a beach, here a few tips:

  1. Research French nude beaches first. With a little Googling, it’s easy enough to find plages naturistes in any region.
  1. Observe the locals. If you’re not sure whether it’s socially acceptable to go full monty or topless, watch what the locals do. If you don’t see it, don’t do it. As a foreigner, you shouldn’t be the one to try to change the local custom.
  1. Don’t be rude. Taking pictures, staring, pointing or speaking loudly about nude beach-goers is a gross breach of etiquette. If you’ve accidentally stumbled upon a nude beach or upon the random naturiste / nudiste (nudist) and it makes you feel awkward or offended, simply go elsewhere.

 

French Beach Vocabulary

And now, here are some beach words that may come in handy during your vacances balnéaires (beach vacation).

 La sable – the sand

Les lunettes de soleil – the sunglasses

La serviette de plage – the beach towel

 

Le parasol –beach umbrella

La crème solaire – the sunscreen

Le maillot de bain – the swimsuit

Coup de soleil – sunburn

 

Le château de sable – the sandcastle

La pelle – the shovel

Le râteau – the rake

Le seau – the bucket

 

L’eau – the water

La vague – the wave

Le courant – the current

La marée haute –high tide

La marée basse –low tide

 

Un poisson – a fish

Une étoile de mer – a starfish

Une algue – algae

Un coquillage – a seashell

Une mouette (a seagulls)

 

A few useful verbs

Nager – to swim

Plonger – to dive

Prendre un bain de soleil – to sunbathe

Faire un pique-nique – to have a picnic

Faire un château de sable – to make a sand castle

 

Will you be going to a French beach this summer? Where will you go? Share with us below!


Verb Spotlight: Amener, Apporter, Emmener, Emporter

In this month’s verb spotlight, we’re going to focus on the French “bring / take” verbs. It’s no surprise that these verbs – amener, emmener, apporter and emporter – can prove troublesome for Anglophones as there are very subtle distinctions between them and none has a direct translation into English.

In French, the correct use of a “take/bring” verb depends on two or three factors:

  • the nature of object being brought or taken
  • how the object will be brought or taken, and (sometimes)
  • whether the speaker will leave or stay with the object at the destination.

Let’s take a closer look at each verb:

AMENER

Definition: To bring.

What? A person, animal or any object capable of movement on its own.

How? The person or object is driven, guided or led, not carried.

What next? The person or object is left at the destination without the speaker.

The verb amener is based on the verb “mener” which means to lead. So when you use this verb, imagine leading a person, animal or mobile object to a certain destination and then leaving them there.

Examples:

J’amène mon fils à l’école = I bring my son to school.

Amènes ta petite amie chez nous = Bring your girlfriend to our place (Drop off your girlfriend at our place).

• Si Marie avait les temps, elle aurait amené sa voiture au garage avant de partir. =

If Marie had the time, she would have brought her car to the garage before leaving.

BUT: Naturally, this being the French language, there’s an exception to the ‘leaving the object at the destination’ rule. Amener is also appropriate to use in circumstances when you’re bringing someone along. So:

• Est-ce que tu l’ameneras à dîner demain? Are you bringing her to dinner tomorrow?

EMMENER

Definition: To take

What: a person, animal or any object capable of movement on its own.

How: The person or object is driven, guided or led, not carried.

What next: The speaker stays with the object at the destination.

 Emmener is also rooted in the verb “mener.” So this verb is appropriate if you’ve led, driven or physically guided someone/something to a destination. But this one is only appropriate if you plan on staying with the person upon arrival.

Examples:

  • Aimerais-tu que je t’emmène dîner? = Would you like me to take you out for dinner?
  • Emmène-moi avec toi! = Take me with you!
  • Il emmène son chien au parc chaque samedi matin. He takes his dog to the park every Saturday morning.

 

APPORTER

Definition: To bring, to take

What: An object that’s incapable of going anywhere on its own

How: By carrying it.

Apporter is rooted in the verb “porter,” which means to carry. The prefix “a-“ signifies that something is being physically carried to another place. For example:

  • Qu’est que vous apportez au pique-nique? = What are you bringing to the picnic?
  • Peux-tu m’apporter une tasse de thé? = Can you bring a cup of tea?
  • Ils apportaient leurs livres à l’école chaque jour. = They brought their books to school every day.

BUT: In a few circumstances, it’s acceptable to use amener although apporter is the technically correct verb. For example when invited to a dinner, it wouldn’t be unusual to ask:

Qu’est-ce que je devrais amener? or Qu’est-ce que j’amène? (What should I bring?) instead of “Qu’est-ce que je devrais apporter?”

EMPORTER

Definition: To take away (with you)

What: An object incapable of going anywhere on its own

How: By carrying it.

 Again, we’ve got the base verb “porter” which indicates that something is being carried. In this case, however, the emphasis is on the fact that the object is going away with you, as opposed to that you’re taking it to somewhere else.

You may find it helpful to remember that “emporter” is the French equivalent of the term “take out” or “take-away,” with respect to meals taken from a restaurant.

Examples:

• J’ai emporté mon parapluie ce matin mais il n’a pas plu. I took my umbrella (with me) this morning but it didn’t rain.

• Emporte ces papiers. Take away those papers.

• Tu emportes toujours un livre. = You always take along a book.

• Repas à emporter . = Take-away food.

Note that the reflexive form of the verb is an expression: 

S’emporter: Marie s’est emportée = Marie lost her temper.

If you’re still confused or have further questions, drop us a line below or contact us! We’re ready to help you learn the French that you really need.


7 Verbs that Have No Direct Translation in French

When you imagine a word that has no direct translation into another language, it’s easy to imagine the existence of some exotic, complex word.

For example, take the French verb “entarter.” This means, “to hit someone in the face with a pie”. Somehow that seems like exactly the kind of word that would have no direct translation into English (or possibly any other language).  

But how about the verb “to kick?” “To hug”?

Seemingly basic English verbs such as these have no direct counterpart in French. The concept exists in French, of course, but there is no single French verb that covers the meaning in the same way as in English.

Because there’s no single word equivalent of these verbs, their French meanings sometimes don’t appear on standard vocabulary lists. In fact, you might not realize you can’t express these concepts until you’re halted mid-tracks in your conversation, racking your brains for a word that you feel must exist, but doesn’t.

To save you the trouble, here are 7 commonly used English verbs that have no direct equivalent in French – and the French phrases you need to express them properly.

 

  1. To kick = “donner un coup de pied.” (to make a blow with the foot).

Example: Je n’aime pas Marc. Il donne des coups de pied à son chien.

 I don’t like Marc. He kicks his dog.

 

  1. To drop (something) = “laisser tomber.” (to let something fall)

Example: Ne laissez pas tomber cette vase! Elle est très chère!

Don’t drop that vase! It’s very expensive.

 Note: A drop in value translates to “baisser” (lower) “diminuer” (diminish) or “chuter” (plunge).

 

  1. To hug = “prendre quelqu’un dans ses bras” or “serrer dans ses bras

 Example: Après son retour de l’étranger, il a serré sa petite amie dans ses bras étroitement.

After returning from abroad, he hugged his girlfriend tightly.

 Note: Many people think that “calîner” (calîn, noun) is the equivalent of to hug, but it’s actually “to cuddle.” Embrasser is also often mistakenly believed to be the translation of “to hug” but it means “to kiss.”

 While there’s no single word for the verb “to hug,” as a noun, “a hug” is translated as “accolade.” (e.g. Après son retour de l’etranger, il a donné une accolade à sa petite amie = after his return from abroad, he gave his girlfriend a hug.)

 As hugging is not the cultural norm in France, “hug” as a verb or noun isn’t frequently employed.

 

  1. To hurt = “faire mal” (to make bad)

 Faire mal is used to indicate when someone has hurt you emotionally or physically.

 Example 1: Il me fait mal quand je déplace mon bras comme ça.

 It hurts when I move my arm like this.

 Example 2: Ça m’a fait mal quand elle a cessé de me parler.

It hurt me when she stopped speaking to me.

 Note: If you want to say that someone caused you a physical wound or injury then use the verbs “blesser” or “injurer.”

 

  1. To trust = faire confiance / avoir confiance (to make/ have confidence)

 Faire confiance and avoir confiance are used to express your confidence in a person.

Faire confiance usually requires use of the preposition “à”, while avoir confiance requires use of the preposition “en”.

Example 1:     Je fais confiance à mon copain

                         I trust my friend.

Example 2:    Je te fais confiance

                         I trust you.

Example 3:    Ils ont confiance en toi

                        They trust you. / They have confidence in you.

 Note: When you want to express trust of something that’s not a person, you’d use the verb phrase: “pouvoir compter sur” (“to be able to count on”)

 Paul peut compter sur sa voiture même si elle est très vieille.

Paul can trust his car even though it’s very old.

 

  1. To retire = prendre sa retraite (to take one’s retirement)

 

Example:        Elle n’a que 50 ans mais elle a déjà pris sa retraite.

                         She’s only 50 but she’s already retired.

 

  1. To care = various French verbs, depending on your intended meaning.

 There’s no single word in French that covers all the various meaning that “to care” does in English. You have to learn the right verb or verb phrase in the right context to express yourself properly.

To care about someone = avoir de l’affection (pour quelqu’un)

 Example:        Elle n’est pas amoureuse de lui mais elle a de l’affection pour lui.

                           She isn’t in love with him but she cares for him.

To take care of someone = prendre soin de qulequ’un

Example:        Quand Marie était dans l’hôpital Paul a pris soin de ses enfants.

                         When Marie was in the hospital Paul took care of her children.

 To care about a cause = se sentir concerné

Example: Si vous vous sentez concerné par les baleines, vous ferez un don à la cause.

                   If you care about whales, you will donate to the cause.

 

Can you think of any other verbs that have no direct translation? Share them below!

 

 

 


Retourner, Revenir, Rentrer: What’s the Difference?

Some French verbs are more complicated than others for Anglophones, most especially those that don’t have an exact counterpart in English. Such is the case with the verbs retourner, revenir and rentrer.

Many English speakers assume these three verbs translate as “to return” “to come back” and “to re-enter” respectively, and can be used interchangeably. But, alas, in French that’s not the case.

While each of these French verbs do generally indicate someone going back to a place, they must each be used in a specific – and different – set of circumstances.

Let’s take a closer look:

RETOURNER         

Meaning #1: To go back (to a place where the speaker is not)

Meaning #2: To go back (to a place where the speaker is not) for a short time.

Meaning #3: To return something (to give back)

As the definitions above indicate, “retourner” is used to refer to a return to a place where the subject of the sentence was previously and where the speaker is not.

Example #1: Ma mere adorait Rome. Elle voudrait y retourner l’année prochaine.

My mother adored Rome.  She would like to return there next year.

Example #2: Paul était sur le point de nous retrouver, mais il avait oublié son porte-monnaie à la boulangerie.  Il y est donc retourné le chercher pour nous rejoindre après.

 Paul was about to meet us but he forgot his wallet at the bakery. So he’s going to go back there to look for it and meet us afterwards.

 Example #3: Tout article non retourné sera facturé

Any missing items will be charged

REVENIR

Meaning: To come back (to the place where the speaker is).

Revenir is used to refer to a return to a place where the subject of the sentence was previously and where the speaker is currently.

 Example #1: Où est Marie? Elle est partie. Mais elle a dit qu’elle reviendrait plus tard

Where is Marie? She left. But she says she’ll come back (here) later.

Example #2: “Zut ! Je dois retourner au bureau car j’y ai laissé mes clés! Je reviens tout de suite!”

Darn it! I have to return to my office because I left my keys there. I’ll come right back (here)!

RENTRER

 Meaning: “to return home” — no matter whether “home” is your country or your abode.

 Example #1: Cette fête est géniale mais je suis fatiguée. Je rentre à la maison.

 This party is great but I’m tired. I’m going (returning) home.

Example #2François habite en Espagne depuis 7 ans mais il rentrera en France en septembre.

 François lived in Spain for seven years but in September he’s going to return to France.

 

Do you need additional help distinguishing between retourner, revenir and retourner? Leave your questions below and we’ll get back to you!