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20 French Words That Get Everyone Confused

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As you get more and more confortable with your French, the list below might come in handy. It will help making sure you don't let 20 bad habits sink in like native French speakers.

Word Meaning Specificity
Mi-temps Halftime
or
Part-time
Can be both used in masculin and feminin form.
When used in feminin, it means halftime (of a soccer game for example).
When used in masculin, it means part-time (in a job context for example)
Tentacule Tentacle It is a strictly masculin noun (even if some people, including reknown writers, use it in feminin)
Œuvre Work Can be both used in masculin and feminin form.
When used in feminin, it refers to a body of work (e.g. a singer's album, a writer's bibliography, a novel, etc.)
When used in masculin, it refers mainly to architecture work (e.g. "le gros oeuvre" refers to the foundations of a building)
Haltère Dumbbell (weight) It is a strictly masculin noun (even if some people, including reknown writers, use it in feminin)
Oasis Oasis It is a strictly masculin noun (even if some people, including reknown writers, use it in feminin)
Testicule Testicle It is a strictly masculin noun
Échappatoire Way out It is a strictly feminin noun
Entracte Intermission It is a strictly masculin noun
Orbite Orbit
or
Socket (eye)
It is a strictly feminin noun (even if some people, including reknown writers, use it in masculin).
Hymne Hymn It is a strictly masculin noun (even if some people, including reknown writers, use it in feminin).
Solde Payment
or
Balance
Can be both used in masculin and feminin form.
When used in feminin, it refers to a payment issued.
When used in masculin, it refers to an account balance.
Orgue Organ It is masculin in its singular form, but feminin in its plural form.
Après-midi Afternoon Can be both used in masculin and feminin form, and keeps the same meaning
Enzyme Enzyme Can be both used in masculin and feminin form, and keeps the same meaning
Alvéole Alveolus It is a strictly masculin noun
Pétale Petal It is a strictly masculin noun even if it's commonly mistaken for a feminin noun
Enseigne Sign
or
Brand
Can be both used in masculin and feminin form.
When used in feminin, it refers to a brand or a sign (e.g. Target, a luminous sign, etc.).
When used in masculin, it refers to a flagship.
Anagramme Anagram It is a strictly feminin noun
Ovule Egg (ovum) It is a strictly masculin noun
Eclair Flash/lightening
or
A delicious French pastry
It is a strictly masculin noun weither it is storm related of food related
How are you getting on with the nouns gender? 

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