The Similarities Between English and French

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Onel Kejee

Instructor Treese

ENG 101 Section 11308

11 December 2012

French, often considered the “language of love”, began when the Roman Empire was at

its peak – in the year 51 B.C. Though English -Germanic in origin, a French ethnic group called

the Normans have the position of Duke of Normandy and the English Royal Crown (British).

Since the French have ruled England for so long, it is inevitable that the two languages should

mix (Yeager). While French and English seem different, they are similar in several ways, and the

similarities are important because the history is clear in the language.

One similarity that French has with English is nouns. A noun is a person, place or thing.

A great illustration of this is the French word “écharpe”; “écharpe” means scarf in English. The

letter “e accent agiu” or “e accent circonflexe” (e accented slightly or circumflexed e)” changes

to the English “s” in 90 percent of nouns (Heminway 8). Another example, - the suffix “-eur”

translates into the English suffix “-or” meaning a person having the quality of. The word

“mediateur” means mediator in English. The word comes from French “mediat” meaning middle

and “eur” meaning having the quality of, with “mediateur” itself meaning “a person in between”

(Heminway 9). Though this just scratches the surface, grammar in English and French have more

cognates than one would think.

Adjectives in English and French also have similarities. An adjective is a word that

describes noun. An example, the word is “delicieux”, means delicious in English. English has

adopted the suffix “eux” to mean the suffix “ous” (French). The word “sportive” in English is

cognates with the French word “sportif (masculine)” or “sportive (feminine)” (French). The

suffix “if/ive” is cognates with the English “ive”. The English language drops the masculine “if”

and replaces all the suffixes with the feminine ending “ive” regardless of...
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