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French word of the Day: Rencard

If someone has asked you for one of these then congratulations - you're obviously looking foxy!

French word of the Day: Rencard
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know rencard?

It's relatively commonly used, especially by younger people in a friendly or romantic situation.

What does it mean?

It means a date (of the romantic variety, not the fruit – that would be une datte).

So if someone asks you Tu veux allez à un rencard avec moi? – Would you like to go on a date with me? you will know to either enthusiastically accept or work on some excuses, depending on whether they float your boat.

It's usually used in the sense of a romantic date, so you might say Jean-Pierre et moi allons à un rencard – Jean-Pierre and I have a date.

Or Caroline est très élégant aujourd'hui, je crois que elle a un rencard – Caroline is looking smart today, I think she has a date.

Couples who have been together for a while and are trying to recapture the magic might have une nuit de rencard – date night.

Although it's usually in a romantic context you can also use the phrase with friends you know well to signify a meet-up.

Alors jeudi, jeudi 19h? C'est un rencard – Thursday, then? Thursday at 7pm? It's a date.

The process of dating itself is know as rencontres so an online dating site is a site de rencontre.

Any other ways to ask people out?

Oh, hundreds. French men, in particular, are not shy about approaching people in bars, clubs or even on the street and asking the question.

Some of the common ones you will hear are Tu veux sortir avec moi? – Do you want to go out with me?

Tu veux prendre un verre/un coup – Do you fancy a drink?

Donne-moi ton zero six – Give me your phone number (French mobiles all start with 06).

Un rendez-vous is often also used to signify a date.

But sadly for Lady Marmalade, voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir has never been widely heard in France and is very unlikely to score you a date.


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For members


French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why being a good pupil can sometimes be … bad.

French Phrase of the Day: Syndrome de la bonne élève

Why do I need to know Syndrome de la bonne élève?

Feeling under-valued at work despite doing everything – and more – asked of you? You may have ‘good student syndrome’.

What does it mean?

Syndrome de la bonne élève – pronounced sin-dromm de la bon ell-evv – translates, as we’ve already hinted, as good student syndrome. 

You may well also see it written as syndrome du bon élève (pronounced sin-dromm doo bon ell-evv) – but this is predominantly a female issue.

It refers to someone in the workplace who tries their hardest to work to the rules, do all the jobs asked of them – and more – and yet is overlooked in favour of co-workers who don’t necessarily put in the same hard graft.

It’s not an official ‘syndrome’, but mental health experts do recognise it in many people – particularly women.

It is a hangover, according to features in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, from school days when girls are considered to be harder workers and less trouble than their boy counterparts.

Marie Claire labelled it a “destructive perfectionism … which affects the mental health of the women they become, while preventing them from embracing positions of responsibility’.’

Use it like this

Le syndrome de la bonne élève touche essentiellement les femmes dans le monde occidental. – Good student syndrome mainly affects women in the Western world.

Cette question d’éducation est d’autant plus marquante que le syndrome du « bon élève » affecte généralement les femmes – This question of education is all the more striking because “good student” syndrome generally affects women