For members


French phrase of the Day: Etre moi-même

Never let anyone stop you from doing this.

French phrase of the Day: Etre moi-même
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know être moi-même?

Because it’s a handy little phrase when discussing your feelings or identity.

What does it mean?

Moi, as most French leaners know, means me. The most common translation of même is ‘same’ as in the handy restaurant cheat of just gesturing at the person next to you and asking for la même chose if you’re not sure what to order.

However it also means ‘even’ as in quand-même – even so or nevertheless.

When paired with moi as moi-même it means ‘myself’ so être moi-même is ‘to be myself’ in the more philosophical sense of keeping your own identity and remaining true to your values and beliefs, even if others are putting pressure on you to change. 

If you’re talking about others being themselves it would be être soi-même and if you’re talking more generally about how it can be hard to be ourselves you would use être nous-même.

Use it like this 

Franchement, je n’aime pas la culture de mon lieu de travail, je ne peux pas être moi-même – I really don’t like the culture in my office, I can’t be myself

Je pense qu’il aurait plus de chance de trouver l’amour s’il apprenait à être lui-même – I think he would have a better chance of finding love if he learned to be himself

Être soi-même c’est connaître ses imperfections mais surtout assumer ses qualités et ses points forts – Being yourself means knowing your imperfections but above all recognising your qualities and strengths 

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For members


French Word of the Day: Poêle

The season of the poêle is approaching.

French Word of the Day: Poêle

Why do I need to know poêle ?

Because you might be confused why your friends said they plan to heat their home using a frying pan this winter.

What does it mean?

Poêle – roughly pronounced pwahl – translates exactly to “stove” and is also often used in a shortened form of poêle à frire (frying pan).

But that’s not why people suddenly start talking about them as the temperatures fall, as a poêle is also an alternative heating method.

In English, we would call these log-burners or wood (or pellet) burning stoves. There are two different types – un poêle à bois (wood-burner) or un poêle à granulés (pellet-burner).

These can be used as an extra heater or simply as a nice focal point in the living room, but certain types of poêle can also be linked up to the main heating system or water-heating system, so have a more practical application.

Some people also use the hot surface of the poêle to boil a kettle on or to cook on, although they’re usually used as a supplement to an electric or gas stove. 

Amid France’s discussion surrounding energy shortages and the price of electricity and gas, les poêles have been more frequently referenced.

Be careful not to confuse this word with ‘poils’ which is the French word for animal fur, but is pronounced very similarly, or even à poil which is a colloquial word for being naked.

Use it like this

J’ai installé un poêle à bois dans ma maison. Le processus a pris beaucoup de temps, mais j’ai pu bénéficier de certaines aides gouvernementales. – I installed a wood-burning stove in my home. The process took a long time, but I was able to benefit from some government subsidies.

Elle a chauffé sa maison avec le poêle tout l’hiver pour éviter d’utiliser l’électricité. – She heated her home using the wood-burner all winter to avoid using electricity.