Let’s have a quick look at three French words, with different spelling and different meanings, but to the unaccustomed ear, they sound very similar and can lead to confusion.
Toi, trois & toit
Toi which means “you” or “yourself”
Trois which is the number “three”
Toit which means “roof”
The best way to avoid confusion is to understand the context of the phrase where these words are being used. If you practice and listen to the French language, you will eventually be able to notice the difference in the pronunciation of these words.
Here are some other examples where words have the same sound but different spelling:
- Moi and mois, which mean me and month
- Soi and soie, self and silk
- Pois and poids which gives peas and weight
Another example where French comprehension can but difficult is with the words Dessus and Dessous.
Dessus means on or on top of
whilst the opposite is
Dessous means under, beneath, or below
There is also very little difference in the pronunciation of both of these words; so you must really lend an ear and listen.
An excellent method in practicing your French and overcoming the problem of comprehension and vocabulary is to use “Audio-comparative” exercises. I strongly recommend using the French 4U language course, which is available on the Internet and offer such exercises as part of the language program. You can test the demo course now and learn French.
Web site French language course