French Vocabulary – Cars Posted by Tim Hildreth on May 21, 2019 in Vocabulary
As I’ve shared before, I love to drive in France. The post I shared a few weeks ago and a recent passage in the book I’m reading got me thinking about car-related vocabulary. This week we’ll look at some key words related to cars … and some examples of how to use them in context.
L’idée m’est venue … / The idea struck me
As I mentioned, part of the inspiration for this week’s post came from a book. Until I read it, I had forgotten that in French there is a specific word for ‘car door’ (as opposed to a door door). The passage (“Elle claqua la portière et partit à grandes enjambées …” * / “She slammed the door and left taking big strides …”) comes from Un Appartement à Paris by one of France’s most popular contemporary authors Guillaume Musso (whose works are available in 41 different languages!) It’s the third novel I’ve read by him and I highly recommend him if you like fun adventures with an other-worldly twist.
La voiture / The car
|la voiture||the car|
|les pneus (m.)||the tires|
|le clignotant||the blinker|
|le coffre||the trunk (the boot)|
|le frein||the brake|
|le klaxon||the horn|
|la portière||the door|
|le volant||the steering wheel|
|le pare-brise||the windshield|
|les essuie-glaces (m.)||the windshield wipers|
Les voitures ont normalement quatre pneus. / Cars generally have for tires.
Avant de tourner, il faut mettre son clignotant. / Before turning, one must turn on their blinker.
On dirige une voiture à l’aide du volant. / One controls the car with the steering wheel.
Quand il pleut, les essuie-glaces permettent de nettoyer le pare-brise. / When it rains, the windshield wipers keep the windshield clean.
En Angleterre on appelle ‘le coffre’ ‘the boot. Aux Etats-Unis on dit ‘the trunk’. / In England they call ‘le coffre’ ‘ the boot’. In the US they say ‘the trunk’.
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* Notice the use of the more literary passé simple.