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French-English Cognates French-English Cognates

A cognate is a word related to one in another language. English and French have many such words (think of 'café' or 'entrepreneur'). Below is a list of some of the lesser known, with the more commonly used English equivalent to the right of each:

  • Aberrant (abnormal)
  • Abstinent (teetotaller)
  • Affable (likeable)
  • Altercation (argument)
  • Brusque (gruff)
  • Candeur (spelt 'candour' in English, honesty)
  • Chagrin (embarrassment)
  • Commence (start)
  • Corpulent (obese)
  • Debut (start)
  • Demi (half, part)
  • Diatribe (outburst)
  • Discordant (disharmonious)
  • Explication (explanation)
  • Exposition (exhibition)
  • Ferment (social unrest)
  • Filiation (paternity)
  • Harangue (browbeat)
  • Insucces (spelt 'insuccess', failure)
  • Juxtaposition (side-by-side)
  • Locution (saying)
  • Machination (plot)
  • Nacre (mother-of-pearl)
  • Nomenclature (terminology)
  • Occlusion (blockage)
  • Penchant (liking)
  • Pillage (looting)
  • Procuration (obtaining)
  • Recalcitrant (repeat offender)
  • Restitution (restoration)
  • Semblant (spelt 'semblance', appearance)
  • Serpent (snake)
  • Sobriquet (nickname)
  • Somnolent (sleepy, drowsy)
  • Utilise (use)
  • Usurpation (overthrow)
  • Vagabond (tramp, hobo)
  • Verbiage (wordiness)
  • Veritable (genuine)
  • Vestibule (hallway)

You can also download a word version of this exercise.


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