French-English cognates

Cognates or vrais amis in French are words that have the same meaning in both French and English and are written the same. Knowing these words exist is great if you’re learning French since you’ll realize you already know many French words since they are the same English. Your vocabulary will expand after reading this article. Here are 15 French-English cognates you should absolutely know so you can rock your French.

The only thing about these dualistic words is that English people tend to say the French words with the same pronunciation as they would in English. This is unfortunate because even though these words are written the same way, the pronunciation is totally different! You might be wondering why are there so many English and French words that are exactly the same. Well, there are a lot of English words that come from the French language.



FR: adɔrabl – In French, the o is much softer than in English and the e is barely pronounced.

ENG: əˈdôrəb(ə)l – In English, the speaker really stops at the dor in adorable.



FR: bydʒ ε – In French, you do not pronounce the t at the end.

ENG: bəjət – In English, you do pronounce the t at the end. In both French and English, the bud is the strongest part of the word.



FR: sɑ ̃tʀal – In French, you put more emphasis on the beginning of the word: CENtral.

ENG: sentrəl – In English, the c sounds more like and s like: sssssentrAL.