French Homophones

Learn the different meanings of French words with the same pronunciation

Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings and, sometimes, spellings. Therefore, French homophones can cause difficulties in oral comprehension and spelling. These pages should help you to understand the difference between the most common French homophones.

French Homophones: A

a - first letter of the French alphabet
a - third person singular conjugation of avoir (to have)
   Il a une question - He has a question
à (preposition) - to, at, in
   Je vais à la banque - I'm going to the bank

abaisse(s) - singular conjugations of abaisser (to lower)
   Abaisse le drapeau - Lower the flag
une abaisse - rolled-out pastry
   J'ai fait une abaisse de 5 mm - I rolled out the pastry to 5 mm
une abbesse - abbess
   L'abbesse habite au couvent - The abbess lives in the convent

accro - (inf adj) hooked, addicted
un accro - addict, lover
   Je suis accro de français - I'm a French lover/addict
un accroc - tear, blot

ai - first person singular present indicative conjugation of avoir (to have)
   J'ai une idée - I have an idea
aie - first person singular subjunctive of avoir
aient - third person plural subjunctive of avoir
aies - second person singular subjunctive of avoir
ait - third person singular subjunctive of avoir
es - second person singular present indicative of être (to be)
est - third person singular present indicative of être
et - (conjunction) and
   Il est grand et beau - He is tall and handsome

un aide - male assistant
   Je vais embaucher un aide - I'm going to hire an assistant
une aide - help, assistance, female assistant
   J'ai besoin de votre aide - I need your help

air, aire - see r

une amande - almond
   J'aime bien la pâte aux amandes - I really like almond paste
une amende - fine
   Tu dois payer une amende de 50 euros - You have to pay a 50-euro fine

an - year
   J'habite ici depuis un an - I've lived here for a year
en (adverbial pronoun) - of it/them
   J'en veux trois - I want three of them
en (preposition) - to, in
   Je vais en France - I'm going to France

août - August
   Il n'y a pas de cours en août - There are no classes in August
Hou ! - Boo!


une houe - hoe
le houx - holly
ou (coordinating conjunction) - or
   C'est à toi ou à moi ? - Is it your turn or mine?
(relative pronoun) - where
   Où vas-tu ? - Where are you going?

au (contraction of à + le) - to the
   Je vais au marché - I'm going to the market
aux - to the (contraction of à + les)
eau - water
o - the letter o
oh (interjection) - oh

aussitôt (adverb) - immediately
   Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait - No sooner said than done
aussi tôt - as/so early
   J'arriverai aussi tôt que possible - I will arrive as early as possible

un autel - altar
   Il y a toujours des fleurs sur l'autel - There are always flowers on the altar
un hôtel - hotel
   Je cherche un hôtel à Paris - I'm looking for a hotel in Paris

un auteur - author
   C'est un auteur connu - He's a well-known author
une hauteur - height
   Quelle est la hauteur de la porte ? - How tall is the door?

un avocat - avocado
un avocat - lawyer


French Homophones: B

b - the second letter of the alphabet
bée - open-mouthed
   Il reste bouche bée - He is standing open-mouthed (in wonder)

bai (horse) - bay
une baie - bay
   J'habite près de la baie - I live near the bay
une baie - berry

un bar - bar/pub
   Il y a un bar américain près d'ici - There's an American bar nearby
un bar - bass
   Je ne sais pas préparer le bar - I don't know how to prepare bass
une barre - bar (rod), barre, helm
   Pourquoi y a-t-il une barre ici ?

- Why is there a bar here?

(un) Beur - (informal) second-generation North African (verlan of Arabe)
le beurre - butter

bois - first and second person singular of boire (to drink)
   Je ne bois pas d'alcool - I don't drink alcohol
le bois - wood
   Nous avons un four à bois - We have a wood stove
boit - third person singular of boire

la boue - mud
le bout - tip

un boum - bang, explosion
   Et puis boum ! tout est tombé - And then boom!

everything fell down
un boum - (familiar) success
   Je n'ai jamais vu un tel boum - I've never seen such (incredible) success
le boum - (familiar) activity
   La fête est en plein boum - The party's in full swing
une boum - (informal) party
   La boum commence à 22h - The party starts at 10pm

un brin - blade (of grass)
   Le chien a mangé un brin d'herbe - The dog ate a blade of grass
un brin - (informal) a bit
   Un brin plus haut, s'il te plaît - A bit higher, please
brun - dark-haired
   Le brun est plus beau que le blond - The dark-haired man is more handsome than the blond
Note: These two words aren't homophones for everyone; some French speakers make a distinction between in and un - learn more


bu - past participle of of boire
le but - goal (note that some people pronounce the final t)


French Homophones: AB  C  DEF  G-L  MN  OP  QR  ST  U-Z

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and, sometimes, spellings. Therefore, French homophones can cause difficulties in aural comprehension and spelling. These pages should help you to understand the difference between the most common French homophones.

French Homophones: C

c - letter of the French alphabet
ces (demonstrative adjective) - these
   J'aime ces fleurs - I like these flowers
c'est - it/this is
   C'est difficile de trouver un bon emploi - It's hard to find a good job
sais - first and second person singular present indicative of savoir (to know)
   Je ne sais pas - I don't know
sait - third person singular present indicative of savoir
ses (possessive adjective) - his, her, its
   Voici ses livres - Here are his/her books
s'est - reflexive pronoun se + third person singular of être (to be)
   Il s'est déjà habillé - He already got dressed

ça indefinite demonstrative pronoun - it, that
   Je n'aime pas ça - I don't like that
sa (possessive adjective) - his, her, its
   C'est sa sœur - That's his/her sister

car (conjunction) - since, for
   La réunion fut annulée car le président est malade - The meeting was canceled since the president is sick
un quart - quarter
   un kilo et quart - one and a quarter kilos

ce (indefinite demonstrative pronoun) - this, it
   Ce doit être un bon restaurant - This must be a good restaurant
se - reflexive pronoun
   Il se lève à huit heures - He gets up at 8 o'clock

celle - see sel

c'en - contraction of ce + en (adverbial pronoun)
   C'en est trop - This is too much
cent - one hundred
   J'ai cent dollars - I have a hundred dollars
le sang - blood
   Il y a du sang sur ta chemise - There's blood on your shirt
sans (preposition) - without
   Je suis sorti sans manger - I went out without eating
s'en - se + en
   Il s'en venait tranquillement - He was approaching unhurriedly
sens - first and second person singular of sentir (to feel, smell)
sent - third person singular of sentir
   Ça sent bon !

- That smells good!

censé - supposed to
   Je suis censé partir à midi - I'm supposed to leave at noon
sensé - sensible
   C'est un homme sensé - He's a sensible man

c'est + vowel or mute h (due to liaison)
   C'est une bonne idée - That's a good idea
cet - masculine demonstrative adjective in front of a vowel/mute h (learn more)
   Cet homme est beau - That man is handsome
cette - feminine demonstrative adjective
   Cette femme est belle - That woman is beautiful
sept - seven
   J'ai sept chats - I have seven cats
s'est + vowel or mute h
   Il s'est habillé tout seul - He got dressed all by himself
Sète - a village in southern France

c'était - it was
   C'était formidable - It was great
s'était - se + third person singular imperfect of être
   Il s'était déjà levé - He had already gotten up
s'étaient - se + third person plural imperfect of être
   Elles s'étaient habillées - They had gotten dressed

la chair - flesh
la chaire - pulpit, post, (university) chair
   Ils vont créer une chaire d'arabe - They're going to create a chair of Arabic
cher - dear, expensive
   un cher ami - a dear friend

chœur - choir, chorus
   J'aimerais bien écouter le chœur - I'd really like to listen to the choir
cœur - heart
   Il a le cœur malade - He has a weak heart

chouette - great, nice
   Je l'aime bien, elle est chouette - I really like her, she's great
chouette - owl
   As-tu vu la chouette hier soir ?

- Did you see the owl last night?

-ci - this (suffix)
   Cet arbre-ci est plus joli que celui-là - This tree is prettier than that one
scie - saw
   Il doit acheter une nouvelle scie - He needs to buy a new saw
si - if
   Si tu es prêt... - If you're ready...
si - yes (in response to a negative question)
   Tu ne viens pas ? Si !

- Aren't you coming? Yes!
six - six
s'y - se + y (adverbial pronoun)
   Il est temps de s'y mettre - It's time to get on with it

un compte - account, count, calculation
un comte - count
   Le Comte de Monte Cristo - The Count of Monte Cristo
un conte - story

cool - cool
   Ça c'est cool - That's cool
coule(s) - singular indicative conjugations of couler (to run, flow)
   Le Rhône coule du nord au sud - The Rhone flows from north to south

le cou - neck
   Pourquoi les girafes ont-ils de longs cous ? - Why do giraffes have long necks?
le coup - blow
   Il a pris un coup sur la tête - He took a blow to the head
le coût - cost
   le coût de la vie - the cost of living

la cour - yard, courtyard
   Je vais planter des fleurs dans la cour - I'm going to plant some flowers in the yard
le cours - course
   J'ai bien aimé ce cours - I really liked this course
court - short
   Ce chemin est plus court - This way is shorter
le court - tennis court

le cul - ass
q - letter of the French alphabet

le cygne - swan
   J'ai vu un cygne sur l'étang - I saw a swan on the pond
le signe - sign, gesture
   Je ne comprends pas le signe que tu as fait - I don't understand the sign you made


French Homophones: AB  C  DEF  G-L  MN  OP  QR  ST  U-Z

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and, sometimes, spellings. Therefore, French homophones can cause difficulties in aural comprehension and spelling. These pages should help you to understand the difference between the most common French homophones.

French Homophones: D

d - letter of the French alphabet
un - thimble, die
   J'ai besoin de deux dés - I need two dice
des (indefinite article) - some
des (partitive article) - some
des (contraction of de + les) - of/about the

dans (preposition) - in
   C'est dans le tiroir - It's in the drawer
d'en - preposition de + en (adverbial pronoun)
   Nous n'avons pas fini d'en parler - We haven't finished talking about it
une dent - tooth
   Je me brosse les dents - I'm brushing my teeth

davantage - more
   En voulez-vous davantage ?

- Would you like some more?
d'avantage - de + avantage (advantage)
   Ce poste manque d'avantages - This job doesn't have (many) advantages

de (preposition) - of, from, about
   Je suis de Californie - I'm from California
deux - two
   J'ai deux frères - I have two brothers
Note: These are not true homophones because they have different phonetic symbols, but their pronunciation is nearly identical.

dégoûter - to disgust
   Ça me dégoûte - That disgusts me
dégoutter - to drip
   De l'eau dégoutte de la table - Water is dripping off the table

un dessein (formal) - design, plan, intention
   Il a le dessein de le refaire - He plans/intends to redo it
un dessin - drawing
   C'est un joli dessin - It's a nice drawing

le diesel - diesel fuel
   Cette station n'a pas de diesel - This station doesn't have any diesel
la diesel - diesel automobile
   C'est une diesel - It's a diesel car / It takes diesel

un don - gift, talent, donation
   Il a un don pour le tennis - He has a gift for tennis
dont - relative pronoun
   C'est le livre dont je t'ai parlé - It's the book I told you about

du (partitive article) - some
   Veux-tu du pain ?

- Do you want some bread?
du - of/about the (contraction of de + le)
- past participle of devoir (to have to)


French Homophones: E

e - letter of the French alphabet
euh (interjection) - uh, um, er
   Il y a, euh, trois choses à faire - There are, um, three things to do
eux (stressed pronoun) - them
   C'est pour eux - It's for them
Note: The letter e is not a true homophone because it has a different phonetic symbol than the other two, but their pronunciation is nearly identical.



- past participle ending for -er verbs
   parlé, chanté, dansé - spoke, sang, danced
-er - infinitive ending for -er verbs
   parler, chanter, danser - to speak, to sing, to dance
-ez - ending for second person plural indicative and imperative of most verbs
   (vous) parlez, chantez, dansez - (you) speak, sing, dance

eau - see au

elle (stressed pronoun) - her
   Va avec elle. - Go with her.
elle (subject pronoun) - she
   Elle le fera demain - She'll do it tomorrow.
elles (stressed pronoun) - them
   I did it for them. - Je l'ai fait pour elles.
elles (subject pronoun) - they
   Elles viennent avec nous ? - Are they coming with us?
l - letter of the French alphabet

en - see an

entre - between, among
   entre toi et moi - between you and me
entre(s) - singular conjugations of entrer (to enter)

ère - see r

es - see ai

ès - see s

un espace - space, room
   Y a-t-il de l'espace ? - Is there any room?
une espace - printing space
   Il faut mettre une espace entre ces mots - We need to put a space between these words
une Espace - car model from Renault
   Je vais acheter une Espace - I'm going to buy an Espace

est, et - see ai

été - past participle of être (to be)
   Qui a été blessé ? - Who was hurt?
un été - summer
   J'aime voyager en été - I like to travel in the summer

être - to be
un être - being
   un être humain - human being
un hêtre - beech tree/wood

eu - past participle of avoir (to have)
   Je n'ai pas eu l'occasion de le faire - I didn't have a chance to do it
u - letter of the French alphabet


French Homophones: F

la faim - hunger
   La faim dans le monde - World hunger
la fin - end
   C'est la fin - That's the end

un fait - fact
   Ce n'est pas mon opinion, c'est un fait - It's not my opinion, it's a fact
un faîte - summit, rooftop
(vous) faites - second person plural indicative and imperative of faire (to do, make)
   Que faites-vous ?

- What are you doing?
une fête - party
   À quelle heure commence la fête ? - What time does the party begin?

le fard - make-up
la phare - lighthouse

un fil - thread, yarn, string
   J'ai tiré un fil à mon pull - I pulled a thread in my sweater
une file - line, queue
   Il a déjà pris la file - He already got in line

un filtre - filter
   Je n'ai plus de filtres à café - I don't have any more coffee filters
un philtre - potion
   Crois-tu que les philtres d'amour peuvent marcher ? - Do you think love potions work?

final - (adj) final, last
   C'est la scène finale - It's the last scene
le finale - finale (music)
   Ont-ils fait un finale ? - Did they play a finale?
la finale - final (sports)
   Vas-tu jouer la finale ? - Are you going to play in the final (round)?

le flan - custard tart
   J'aime bien les flans - I really like custard tarts
le flanc - side, flank
   Il est couché sur le flanc - He's lying on his side

la foi - faith
   Il faut avoir la foi - You have to have faith
le foie - liver
   Je n'aime pas le foie de volaille - I don't like chicken liver
une fois - once, one time
   Je l'ai fait une fois - I did it once

le fond - bottom, back, far end
   Il faut aller jusqu'au fond - You have to go all the way to the back
fond - third person singular indicative of fondre (to melt)
   La neige fond déjà - The snow is already melting
fonds - first and second person singular indicative of fondre
font - third person plural indicative of faire (to do, make)
   Qu'est-ce qu'ils font ?

- What are they doing?
les fonts - baptismal fount

le foudre - (ironic) leader, large cask
   C'est un foudre de guerre - (sarcastic) He's a great war leader
la foudre - lightning
   La foudre est tombée sur la maison - Lightning struck the house
   Ça a été le coup de foudre - It was love at first sight


French Homophones: AB  C  DEF  G-L  MN  OP  QR  ST  U-Z

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and, sometimes, spellings. Therefore, French homophones can cause difficulties in aural comprehension and spelling. These pages should help you to understand the difference between the most common French homophones.

French Homophones: G

g - letter of the alphabet
j'ai (contraction of je + first person singular conjugation of avoir [to have]) - I have

le gène - gene
   C'est un gène dominant - It's a dominant gene
la gêne - trouble, bother, embarrassment
   Il éprouve une certaine gêne à avaler - He's having trouble swallowing
gêne(s) - singular conjugations of gêner (to bother, embarrass)
   Ça ne me gêne pas - It doesn't bother me

le gîte - shelter, cottage, ~ bed and breakfast
   Nous avons logé dans un gîte - We stayed in a bed and breakfast
la gîte - list, inclination of ship
   Le bateau donne de la gîte - The boat is listing

le greffe - court clerk's office
   Où se trouve le greffe ?

- Where is the court clerk's office?
la greffe - transplant, graft
   Il a besoin d'une greffe du cœur - He needs a heart transplant

guère - hardly
   Il n'en reste plus guère - There's hardly any left
la guerre - war
   C'est une guerre civile - It's a civil war

un guide - guide (book or person)
   J'ai acheté un guide gastronomique - I bought a restaurant guide
une guide ~ girl scout/guide
   Ma fille veut être guide - My daughter wants to be a girl scout/guide
les guides (f) - reins
   Il faut tirer sur les guides - You have to pull on the reins


French Homophones: H

la haine - hatred
n - letter of the alphabet

hauteur - see auteur

hêtre - see être

le hockey - hockey
   Il joue au hockey. - He plays hockey.
le hoquet - hiccup
   J'ai le hoquet. - I have hiccups.

hôtel - see autel

hou, houe, houx - see août


French Homophones: I

i - letter of the alphabet
y - adverbial pronoun
   Il y est allé hier - He went there yesterday

il (subject pronoun) - he, it
   Il est médecin - He's a doctor
ils (subject pronoun) - they
   Ils ne sont pas prêts - They aren't ready
Note: In informal French, il and ils are commonly pronounced like i.




French Homophones: J

j - letter of the alphabet
j'y - contraction of je and y (adverbial pronoun)
   J'y vais ! - I'm going!

j'ai - see g

le jars - gander
   Nous avons une oie et un jars - We have one goose and one gander
la jarre - earthenware jar
   J'ai trouvé une jarre antique - I found an antique jar

jeune - young
   Il est très jeune - He is very young
un/e jeune - young person
le jeûne - fast, fasting
   C'est un jour de jeûne - It's a fast day


French Homophones: L

l - see elle

la (feminine definite article) - the
   la pomme - the apple
la (feminine direct object pronoun) - her, it
   Je la vois - I see her
- here, there
   Il n'est est pas là - He's not there
l'a - contraction of le or la + third person singular of avoir (to have)
   Il l'a acheté - He bought it
l'as - contraction of le or la + second person singular of avoir
   Tu l'as vu ?

- You saw him?

le lac - lake
la laque - lacquer, shellac, hairspray

leur (indirect object pronoun) - them
   Je leur donne les clés - I'm giving them the keys
leur(s) (possessive adjective) - their
   C'est leur maison - It's their house
le(s)/la leur(s) (possessive pronoun) - theirs
   C'est le leur - It's theirs
un leurre - delusion, illusion, deception, trap, lure, decoy
l'heur - good fortune (ironic)
   Je n'ai pas eu l'heur de le connaître - I didn't have the good fortune of knowing him
l'heure - hour, time
   À l'heure actuelle - At the present time

le livre - book
   Comment s'appelle ce livre ? - What is this book called?
la livre - pound
   Ça pèse deux livres et coûte cinq livres - That weighs two pounds and costs five pounds

l'on - euphonic contraction of le + on
   Ce que l'on a fait - What we did
l'ont - contraction of le or la + third person plural of avoir
   Ils l'ont déjà acheté - They already bought it
long - long
   Ne sois pas trop long - Don't take too long


French Homophones: AB  C  DEF  G-L  MN  OP  QR  ST  U-Z

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and, sometimes, spellings. Therefore, French homophones can cause difficulties in aural comprehension and spelling. These pages should help you to understand the difference between the most common French homophones.

French Homophones: M

ma (possessive adjective) - my
   ma mère - my mother
m'a - contraction of me (object pronoun) + third person singular avoir (to have)
   Il m'a vu - He saw me
m'as - contraction of me + second person singular avoir
   Tu m'as regardé - You looked at me

le maire - mayor
la mer - sea
la mère - mother

mai - May
   On est le premier mai - It's the first of May
la maie - bread box
mais - but
   Mais je ne suis pas prêt !

- But I'm not ready!
mes (possessive adjective) - my
   Où sont mes clés ? - Where are my keys?
m'es - contraction of me + second person singular être (to be)
   Tu m'es très cher - You are very dear to me
m'est - contraction of me + third person singular être
met - third person singular conjugation of mettre (to put)
   Il met le pain sur la table - He's putting the bread on the table
mets - first and second person singular mettre
un mets - dish
   Tout le monde doit amener un mets à partager - Everyone needs to bring a dish to share

maître (adjective) - main, major, chief
le maître - master, teacher
mettre - to put

mal - bad, badly, wrong
   J'ai mal dormi - I slept badly
le mal - evil, pain
   J'ai mal à la tête - I have a headache
mâle* - male, manly
   C'est une voix mâle - It's a manly voice
la malle - trunk (suitcase or car)
   J'ai déjà fait ma malle - I've already packed my trunk
*This isn't a homophone for everyone; some French speakers make a distinction between a and â - learn more

marocain - Moroccan
   Il est marocain - He is Moroccan
le maroquin - morocco leather

une mine - expression, look
   Il a la bonne mine - He looks good
une mine - mine
   C'est une mine d'or - It's a gold mine

mon (possessive adjective) - my
   Voici mon père - This is my father
le mont - mountain
   J'ai grimpé le mont Blanc - I climbed Mont Blanc
m'ont - contraction me + third person plural conjugation of avoir
   Ils m'ont vu - They saw me

mou - soft
la moue - pout

un mur - wall
mûr - ripe
une mûre - blackberry


French Homophones: N

n - see haine

neuf - new (nouveau vs neuf)
neuf - nine

ni - neither
   Ni l'un ni l'autre n'est prêt - Neither one is ready
le nid - nest
nie(s) - singular conjugations of nier (to deny)
   Il nie l'évidence - He is denying the obvious
nient - third person plural of nier
n'y - contraction of ne + y (adverbial pronoun)
   Il n'y a pas de pain - There isn't any bread

le nom - last name, noun
non - no
n'ont - contraction of ne + third person plural conjugation of avoir
   Ils n'ont pas d'enfants - They don't have any kids


French Homophones: AB  C  DEF  G-L  MN  OP  QR  ST  U-Z