More
Get the best of my videos and stard to sound très très Françaisright now
< Back to the blog

How to avoid these 5 double-meaning verbs traps

This morning, I was having a cup of coffee with Jana from Berlin. We talked about double meanings in French. How 2 letters can make a verb go from « formal » to « super rude ».

I planned to write an article on this for you. To avoid you the blush of « Oh My God. I said this last week! Didn’t mean to be rude!». And as we laughed, I really felt « at the right time at the right place ». What we share together online, I also share it offline with foreign travellers as well. How cool is that!

As you know, French is full of double-meaning traps. And here are 5 verbs that could be interpreted the wrong way.

Relax. If your friend Olivier knows you don’t speak French fluently, he won’t be offended by your use of « se taper ». :)
It’s mainly your neighbour, the postman and the headmistress you don’t want to freak out!

Coucher / Se coucher

Se coucher = going to bed.

Il est 23h, je vais me coucher. Bonne nuit.

Coucher = sleep or putting somebody to bed.

Jean a couché ici cette nuit.

Je vais coucher les enfants.

BUT coucher avec = sleep with (familiar)

Louise couche avec Jean.

Louise et Jean couchent ensemble.

Tirer / Tirer sur / Se tirer

Tirer sur = to shoot

Jean tire sur Louise.

Tirer = to pull on

Tirez la porte.

Se tirer = to leave (like Se casser)

Je me tire.

BUT Tirer somebody = have sex with (rude)

Jean tire Louise.

Se taper / Taper

Taper = to hit

Jean tape Louise.

BUT Se taper = have sex with (rude)

Jean se tape Louise.

Se taper also means « to endure »

Louise s’est tapée tous les travaux toute seule.

Faire / Se faire

Faire = do

Louise fait les courses.

But Se faire = have sex with (rude)

Jean se fait Louise.

Oublier / S’oublier

Oublier = To forget

Jean a oublié l’anniversaire de Louise.

But S’oublier = sh*t yourself (literally)

Jean s’est oublié.

Have you ever used one of these double-meaning verbs? Let me know in the comments below how it happened. What did you meant? Have you heard of others? Would you like to know more double-meaning words?

You might interested in those following articles

Bonjour !

Some French slang sounds disgusting–especially when you try to translate it literally.

They’re colourful (but mo...

Bonjour !

Darkness falls across rural France; creatures crawl in search of camembert.

What demon lurks in the night?
What s...

Bonjour !

Despite the hard work of “l’Académie française”, French language is still incomplete.

And it’s hurting our abil...

Bonjour !

Some words are missing in English. For instance, the Inuit word “Iktsuarpok” means “to keep looking outside wi...