5 Embarrassing Mistakes You should Avoid in French

Making mistakes, while you are learning a new language is totally fine. However, some words used not in a correct way can turn your conversation into a really embarrassing one. No doubt, it is worth to know these words before you will want to use them in a talk!

It may sound incredible, but in French feminine words in a huge amount of cases have the second meaning that has a sexual character. Some mistakes can occur because of wrong pronunciation or even because of a dictionary that provides the confusing information.

Here I listed 5 different and very tricky French words you should know when to use and when not.


#1 Chaud(e)

If you are a girl and it is hot outside and you may want to tell your friend something like “I feel hot” or “I`m hot”. Most likely you will translate it in French directly “Je suis chaude !”, that will literally mean that you are hot in a sexual way.

Je suis chaude  – I am horny / I`m very motivated

Instead, you should use verb avoir and say:

J’ai chaud – I`m hot (about temperature)

However, in a situation you would want actually to use word chaud(e) with the sexual meaning, there is such French expressions as

Je suis chaude comme la braise ! – I`m horny like a fire!



#2 Baiser

Je te baise ≠ I kiss you

To translate this verb as “to kiss” is completely wrong. The reason why this mistake arises so often is that the official dictionaries give you a confusing information. The first meaning you will find there is “a kiss” or “to kiss” and then some lines below an informal meaning is written

Baiser – to f*ck

The funny thing about this word is that these two different meanings cannot live together. For French people this verb has one and only one meaning – the informal, as you can guess.

To talk about kisses you should use

Faire la bise  – to kiss

S’embrasser – to kiss

For example, “I kiss you” would be “Je t’embrasse”. For just “kisses” use the words:

Bises / Bisous 



#3 Un cochon / une cochonne

Titles for animals are often used to describe qualities of people. These double meanings can be very surprising like in French language. For example, a word for “a pig”:

Un cochon – the second meaning is “a dirty man”

Une cochonne – the second meaning is “a woman with dirty thoughts and behavior”

Honestly, almost all feminine titles for animals have a strong negative second meaning and considered to be the insults. They are not even used to talk about animals any more.




#4 Beaucoup

Mispronounced word beaucoup can put you in a funny situation as well. If you just change the last sound [u] as in cool to the French “u”, you will be saying something absolutely different as “beau cul”. So take a look at the examples:

Merci beaucoup ! – Thanks very much!

Merci beau cul ! – Thanks, beautiful a*s!



#5 Bon / Bonne

In English you can tell a person who did a nice job “you are good”. If you want to say the same in French to a guy the phrase will be translated “tu es bon”, and is absolutely correct.

But a guy saying to a girl “tu es bonne !” risks receiving a very unpleasant response in case she is not his girlfriend, because

Tu es bonne ! – You are very sexy!

So, it is very useful to remember

Bon – good

Bonne – very sexy

Therefore, you just need to pay a little attention to remain polite and tactful.

Now you know some of the most confusing and embarrassing mistakes that could be made in French. However, without making mistakes, learning and improving is impossible. So let yourself to make mistakes sometimes!

If you want to learn more spoken French check our full course Learn to Speak French like Natives

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Have you made any of these mistakes? Maybe you have made other mistakes? Share it with us! We would love to hear from you in the comments.

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