“I revised my notes before the test.”

2013-08-15What?  You changed them?

Translation:  « J’ai changé mes notes avant l’examen. »

Why wrong: Revise is a false friend. It doesn’t always mean réviser. Facebook

What are “false friends?” False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,000 false friends between English and French.

Correct it:  What is meant here is review as in “I reviewed my notes before the test.”

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“I have a lot of job.”

Need JobWhy wrong: Job means emploi or un travail and most of us have many of them over our careers. If you mean things to do at your job, you mean work (du travail). Many Quebecers will say “J’ai de la job,” thinking that is English.  Sorry! To be taken seriously…Consultation

Correct it: Say “I have a lot of work.” For more information, click here.

Would you like more free information on what Roy can do for you? Contact him without obligation.  He’s used to it.

“All of the medias were there.”

SheepWhy wrongThe word medias doesn’t exist. The word is media, an irregular plural, whose singular form is a medium.  Television is a medium, radio is another medium and the press is yet another one.  All of them together are the media.Manager With Team

Correct it:  “All of the media were there.”

Contact Roy.  He is a Cambridge English Teacher Advisor and can help you improve your vocabulary so as not to make embarrassing mistakes.

“He wears a casket when he plays baseball.”

CasketWhat?  It must be hard to run with that on his head!

Translation:  « Il porte un cercueil quand il joue au baseball. »

Why wrong: Casket is a false friend. It doesn’t mean casquette. 

What are “false friends?” False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,700 false friends between English Checklistand French.

Correct it:  What is meant here is cap as in “He wears a cap when he plays baseball.” 

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“I always take my vacancies at the end of July.”

BallWhy wrong: Vacancies are chambres libres in hotels or postes vacants for a job opening.  If you have time off from work, it’s a vacation.  To be taken seriously…Biz Group (Small)

Correct it: Say “I always take my vacation at the end of July.”  It can be used in the plural if there are more than one, e.g.  “I take two vacations, one in the summer and one in the winter.”

Would you like to be proud of your English communication?  For more free information on what Roy can do for you, contact him.

“There were a lot of bacterias in the air.”

SheepNow, that’s an irregular plural!

Why wrongThough some would disagree, for the majority of English speakers, the word bacterias doesn’t exist. The right word is bacteria, an irregular plural, whose singular form is a bacteriumClick here for more examples.  To be taken seriously (at least in 2018)…

Correct it:  “There were a lot of bacteria in the air.”Hit Goals

Contact Roy to hit your goals this year.  Speaking better English will help you do that.

“We’d like to report the meeting.”

Asian Covering FaceQuick, phone the police!

Translation: « Nous aimerions signaler la réunion. »

Why wrong: Report is a false friend. It doesn’t mean reporter, but rather signaler, notifier. For more help with false friends, click here.  To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is postpone or put off. Say “We’d like to put off the meeting.” or “We’d like to postpone the meeting.”Trust concept.

Get someone who will tell you the truth. Email or phone Roy in English or French to learn how he can help you.

“My wife is tainting her hair.”

2013-09-28Quick, phone 9-1-1!

Translation: « Ma femme est en train de contaminer ses cheveux. »

Why wrong: Taint doesn’t mean teindre, but rather contaminer, infecter, or salir. For more help with false friends, click here.  To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is to dye or to colour. Say “My wife is dying her hair” or “My wife is colouring her hair.”

Get the information you need to improve your communication. Email or phone Roy in English or French for a free evaluation.
The Info You Need Website Screen Computer Internet Browser

“That was a really good publicity.”

>Mistake2Why wrong:  “Publicity” is non-count or mass noun.  Mass nouns can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number).

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (a publicity) or make them plural (publicities). Say “That was really good publicity.”

Do you want to really know the difference between publicity and advertising? Contact Roy!  He will explain this and many other language points.


Reputation

“We have to do our planification for next year”

Time To Plan

Why wrong:  Even though evidently the verb to planify and the noun planification exist in some dictionaries, they are not common and sound wrong to most educated natives.  Instead we say to plan and planning. To avoid strange looks…

SayWe have to do our planning forTime To Impress next year.”

Before you finish your planning for next year, contact Roy in either English or French.  He helps francophones sound more like native anglophones

“I’m sorry for the retard”

2013-08-17Really? Who’s the retard?

Translation: « Je suis désolé pour le débile. »

Why wrong: Retard is not only offensive slang, it is also a false friend. It doesn’t mean un retard, but rather un débile, un crétin or un arriéré.   To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is lateness or tardiness.. Say “I’m sorry for being late”, “I’m sorry for my lateness” or “I’m sorry for my tardiness.”

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“I have a very comprehensive boss.”

What Do You SayTranslation: « J’ai un patron très exhaustif. »

Why wrong: Comprehensive is a false friend. It doesn’t mean comprehensif, but rather complet, exhaustif. For more help with false friends, click here.   To be taken seriously…North America

Correct it: What is meant here is understanding. Say “I have a very understanding boss.”

Enjoy travelling around the world with better English. Email or phone Roy in English or French to learn how he can help you.

“We went for a walk yesterday night.”

WhatWhy wrong:  The expression Yesterday night (hier nuit) doesn’t exist in either English or French. Either say yesterday evening (hier soir) or last night (la nuit dernière). To be taken seriously…

Correct it: Say, “We went for a walk last night.”Trust concept.

Contact Roy, either in English or French, to improve your vocabulary, especially idioms, which will help your comprehension of normal English conversation.

Saying “Your website is anglaide point com.”

Left Of NameWhat?  Actually, no it’s not!

Why wrong:  Dot it used only in Internet sites and e-mail, for example yourname@yourdomaine.com.  The ending is pronounced “dot com”.  Remember that the @ sign is pronounced “at”, not “arobas” or “commercial A”.

Period is punctuation which ends a sentence or an abbreviation.  It also means “point final” in an argument.

Point refers to decimals.  After a decimal, every number is read individually.  For example. “5.75” should be read “five point seven five” and not “five point seventy-five”. To be taken seriously,…Investment

Correct it:  Say “anglaide dot com.”

Why not invest in your vocabulary? Contact Roy to avoid making other common francophone mistakes in English.

“That problem arrives every year.”

SOSReally? Let it go somewhere else instead of coming here!

Why wrong: Arriver in French can mean two things:  either the antonym of partir or else it can be a synonym of se passer. If you mean se passer, it’s better to say arise or happen. To be taken seriously…Team

Correct it:  “That problem arises every year.”  or “That problem happens every year.” For more information on confused words, click here.

Would you like to avoid problems arising?  For more free information on what Roy can do for your team, contact him.

“That guy just burned a red light.”

2013-08-06Why wrong: Brûler un feu rouge is a Quebec French idiom.  The North American English equivalent is to run a red light.  To be taken seriously…North America

Correct it:  Say “That guy just ran a red light.”

Do you want to look good in front of your international clients? Let Roy help you!  He is a member of SPEAQ (Société pour le perfectionnement de l’enseignement de l’anglais langue seconde au Québec).

“Every week, my husband throws up the garbage.”

Paper HelpWhy does he eat it?

Translation: « Chaque semaine, mon mari vomit les poubelles. »

Why wrong: In English there are thousands of expressions called phrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb. Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off. Using the wrong particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously. If you mean to put something in the garbage, say throw out not throw up (vomit).Someone Who Can Help

Correct it:Every week, my husband throws out the garbage.”

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy

“Close the stores. I can’t see.”

2013-09-27What?  A lot of money will be lost if you close them all.

Translation: « Ferme les magasins. Je ne vois rien. »

Why wrong: The word stores is a false friend. It doesn’t mean des stores. For more help with false friends, click here.

What are “false friends?” False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,000 false friends between English and French.Dead End Opportunity

Correct it:  What is meant here is review as in “Close the blinds. I can’t see.”

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“I got my back at UQAM”

BackReally? Where did you get the rest of your body?

Translation: « J’ai eu mon dos à UQAM. »

Why wrong: Bac, short for baccalauréat, is used in Québec for a higher education degree. In Bachelor MasterEnglish, the expression is bachelor’s (degree). The word degree is understood in context, and isn’t necessary to say. If you have a degree, make sure you use the right English expression:

Correct it: Say: “I got my bachelor’s at UQAM.” or “I got my degree at UQAM.”

Contact Roy to avoid embarrassment like this.

“The surgeon operated my mother.”

Machine OperatorReally? Is she a machine?

Translation: « Le chirurgien a fait fonctionner ma mère. »

Why wrong: In English there are thousands of expressions called phrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb.  Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off. Omission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously.  Someone can operate a machine, but surgeons operate on people.Potential

Correct it: “The surgeon operated on my mother.”

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy and reach your full potential!

“My car broke.”

Broken CarReally? Send it to the scrap yard!

Translation: « Mon auto a fracturé. »

Why wrong: In English there are thousands of expressions called pProblem Solvedhrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb.  Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off. Omission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously.

Correct it:  My car broke down.

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy!

“Please throw your garbage Monday morning.”

Garbage CanGet out of the way!

Translation: « Veuillez lancer vos poubelles lundi matin. »

Why wrong: In English there are thousands of expressions called phrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb. Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off. Omission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously. If you mean to put something in the Excellentgarbage, say throw out.

Correct it:Please throw out your garbage Monday morning.”

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy

“I put a thousand dollars in my rear.”

$99You have way too much money!

Translation« J’ai mis mille dollars dans mon derrière. »  Rear is an English word.  REÉR is not.Dollar Sign

Why wrong:  Be extremely careful with acronyms. Remember that they are short for other words.  If those other words are in another language, it’s almost 100% sure that another acronym will be used. REÉR (Régime Enregistré d’Épargne et Retraite) doesn’t stand for the same words in English. If you mean REÉR, say RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan).

Correct it:  Say “I put a thousand dollars in my RRSP.” Please don’t put money in your rear.

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“I plugged my computer.”

PlumberReally? Call a plumber!

Translation: « J’ai bouché mon ordinateur. »

Why wrong: In English there are thousands of expressions called phrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb.  Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off.  QualityometerOmission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously.

Correct it:  “I plugged in my compter.”

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy!

“I quit my job at 5:00 every day.”

Need JobWhat?  You have a different job every day?

Translation: « Je démission de mon travail chaque jour à 17h00. »

Why wrong: Quit is a false friend. It doesn’t always mean quitter. For more help with false friends, click here.Problem Solved

What are “false friends?” False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,000 false friends between English and French.

Correct it:  What is meant here is leave as in “I leave my job at 5:00 every day.” 

Contact Roy to keep your job and maybe qualify for a promotion.

“In school my surname was Pizza Face.”

Pizza FaceReally? Then it’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Pizza Face!

Translation: « À l’école, mon nom de famille était face de pizza. »Reputation

Why wrong: Surname is a false friend. It doesn’t mean surnomFor more help with false friends, click here.   To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is nickname. Say In school, my nickname was Pizza Face.

Maintain a good name with professional English. Contact Roy.

“We miss toilet paper.”

Toilet PaperOf course!  We usually miss what we don’t have any more. 

Translation:  « On s’ennuie du papier de toilette »

Why wrong: Manquer de is a French idiom. Lack has relatively the same meaning, but if you want an idiom, it should be run out of or run short ofTo be taken seriously…Finally Hit

Correct it: The aspect is temporarily in progress, so the Present Progressive should be used.  Say We are running out of toilet paper.

Don’t miss your targets!  To avoid the mistakes francophones make in English, contact Roy, either in English or in French.

“She’s happy she’s notorious.”

2013-08-07Why? What does she do?

Translation: « Elle est heureuse d’être mal famée. »

Why wrong: Notorious is sometimes a false friend. It is pejorative and doesn’t always mean notoire.IMG_3043

What are “false friends?” False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,000 false friends between English and French.

Correct it: False friends must be learned to avoid the mistakes. What is meant here is famous or well-known as in She’s happy she’s well-known. For more help with false friends, click here.

Contact Roy for more confidence speaking English.

“Our accountant makes our taxes.”

Translation:  « Notre comptablIMG_2902e construit nos rapports d’impôt »

Why wrong: There are two words for faire in English: do and make. We do services and make products.  For more information, click here.Products Services

Correct it: Filing tax reports is a service, not a product, so here the verb should be do.  “Our accountant does our taxes.”

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“What’s the right traduction?”

2013-07-27Why wrongThe word traduction doesn’t exist. The word is translation, from the verb to translate.  It’s a common mistake since English and French share many words, but not all of them. If you want to be taken seriously...IMG_3043

Correct it:  “What’s the right translation?”

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“I didn’t mean to derange you.”

IMG_3029It’s OK because I’m already deranged!

Translation « Je ne voulais pas vous rendre fou. »

Why wrong:  Derange is a false friend. It doesn’t mean déranger.

What are false friends False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,000 false friends between English and French.  To be taken Biz Group (Small)seriously…

Correct it:  False friends must be learned to avoid the mistakes. What is meant here is bother or disturb as in I didn’t mean to bother you. For more help with false friends, click here.

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“What is the right pronounciation?”

Not Again1Why wrong:  The word pronounciation doesn’t exist. The word is pronunciation. It’s true that the verb is to pronounce, but the noun is different. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: Ask, What is the right pronunciation?You Can Do It

Contact Roy to improve your pronunciation, especially the “Big Five” which will improve a French accent by about 80%.