French word of the day: Déconfiner

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 30 Apr, 2021 Updated Fri 30 Apr 2021 14:00 CEST
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A word that has become associated with happiness over the past year.


Why do I need to know déconfiner?

Because over the last year it's become rather a big deal.

What does it mean?

Déconfiner comes from the verb se déconfiner, which refers to sortir d’une situation de confinement - 'exiting a confinement situation'.

It's the negative of confiner - to impose a confinement or lockdown.

Therefore the day we begin to nous déconfiner is le déconfinement - the lifting of lockdown restrictions including bar closures and curfew.

Noun vs. verb

Se déconfiner is a verb and déconfinement a noun.

You can use both, but in different ways.

Nous attendons avec impatience le jour où nous commençons de se déconfiner - We're all keenly awaiting the day where we begin to unwind the lockdown. 

Le déconfinement débute en mai - the lifting of lockdown begins in May



And there is now a third option to add to confinement and déconfinement, but we hope that we will never have to use again - reconfinement.

Logically, this is when a country goes back into lockdown and one we hope we can retire in 2022.




The Local 2021/04/30 14:00

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