29 December 2017
I hope you have had a happy Christmas.
A few days ago we said we would examine how good your English vocabulary already is, if you are French. If you combine the new words you are learning daily with the huge number of words you already know, you are taking your huge steps in your journey towards fluency.
Cognates are words from two languages that are the same or similar. Because English borrows many words from Latin and French, you as a French speaker simply just need to be made aware of the huge English vocabulary you already know.
The easy trick is to learn the following 10 French word endings, which identify the French/English cognates.
Cognate Rule 1
Words that end in –al are usually the same in French. However, this rule does not apply to words ending in -ical, which follow a different cognate rule.
English French Animal Animal Central Central Final Final Ideal Ideal International International Mental Mental Original Original
Cognate Rule 2
Words that end in –ance are usually the same in French.
English French Distance Distance Arrogance Arrogance Importance Importance Intolerance Intolerance Perseverance Persévérance Substance Substance Ambulance Ambulance Finance Finance
Cognate rule 3. Words that end in -ary change to -aire.
English French Anniversary Anniversaire Dictionary Dictionnaire Imaginary Imaginaire Salary Salaire Vocabulary Vocabulaire
Words ending in -ist change to -iste in French.
English French Tourist Touriste Dentist Dentiste Artist Artiste Cyclist Cycliste Pessimist Pessimiste
Cognate Rule 5
Words that end in -ble are usually the same in French.
English French Adorable Adorable Flexible Flexible Horrible Horrible Impossible Impossible Visible Visible
Cognate Rule 6
Nouns ending in -tion generally have the same ending in French
English French Information Information Conversation Conversation Tradition Tradition Station Station Celebration Célébration
Cognate Rule 7
Words that end in -ct are usually the same in French
English French Correct Correct Contact Contact Respect Respect Direct Direct Impact Impact
Cognate Rule 8 Words that end in -ent are usually the same in French.
English French President President Urgent Urgent Client Client Different Different Monument Monument
Cognate Rule 9
Words ending in -ical change to -ique,
English French Electrical Électrique Critical Critique Identical Identique Practical Pratique Typical Typique
Cognate Rule 10
Words ending in -ence have the same ending in French.
English French Science Science Violence Violence Experience Expérience Intelligence Intelligence Patience Patience
Wow! You really do know a lot more than you realise! Catch you again in a couple of days time. Gordon