Hints on recognizing words

Since a big part of English words come directly from French (and then even more come from Latin), there are a lot of cognates between the languages, but sometimes they're hard to spot.

  • A circumflex accent usually means that the word is of Latin original, and there was an 's' following the vowel that was removed. The word is sometimes more recognizable with the circumflex removed and the 's' added. For example 'hôpital', is 'hopital'. (however, the meaning of 'hôtel' is 'hotel' and not 'hostel', but the word 'hostel' does come from the same Latin root)
  • An e with an acute accent ('é') often becomes 's' in English. For example, 'étrange' is 'strange'.

Any more?

Posted by memrise_ 11/17/11, last update 3/14/12 (2 years ago)
  • Oops, where it says "'hôpital', is 'hopital'", that should read "'hôpital', is 'hospital'"

    Posted by jeffayle 11/17/11 (3 years ago)
  • Oops, where it says "'hôpital', is 'hopital'", that should read "'hôpital', is 'hospital'"

    Posted by jeffayle 11/17/11 (3 years ago)
  • This is an interesting piece of information.  I've never thought of it before, but it does make sense.  How reliable is this?  What I mean is... are a considerable number of words with an 'é' represented in English as having an 's'?  Or, similarly, does the cicumflex accent translate to English as being followed by an 's' in significant portion of words?

    Posted by jnsatterfield 12/4/11 (3 years ago)
  • This is an interesting piece of information.  I've never thought of it before, but it does make sense.  How reliable is this?  What I mean is... are a considerable number of words with an 'é' represented in English as having an 's'?  Or, similarly, does the cicumflex accent translate to English as being followed by an 's' in significant portion of words?

    Posted by jnsatterfield 12/4/11 (3 years ago)
  • I thought so too :0)

    Posted by sfrenchie 3/14/12 (2 years ago)
  • You are actually teaching me something about my natal tongue. Merci beaucoup.

    Posted by sfrenchie 3/14/12 (2 years ago)

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