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Some mistakes are easy to make… when you’re speaking French

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Recent scripted conversations threw up some imaginative endings when people were faced with the realisation that they had gone the wrong way, ‘on s’est trompés de route!’. This led to all sorts of scenarios.

What’s in this grammatically?

The grammar here involves a reflexive verb in the past tense but the best way forward is to learn the set phrase, ‘je me suis trompé(e) de...’ as you can then add any noun onto the ending. In English we have many ways of expressing this: je me suis trompé(e) d’adresse means ‘I got the wrong address’, and ‘ je me suis trompé(e) de ville’ could mean ‘I went to the wrong town’. ‘Je me suis trompé(e)’ on its own means that you made a mistake. However, ensure you use the reflexive pronoun, otherwise it means you are deceiving, betraying or cheating on someone, instead of you making a mistake. So, ‘elle a trompé son mari’ means that she had an affair, which I guess is still getting the husband wrong in a way!

Not to be confused with...

There is a very similar verb: ‘tremper’ which means ‘to soak’, so ‘je suis trempé(e) jusqu’aux os’ means that you are soaked to the bone.

Please leave me a comment if you have found this useful or use the panic button on the right if you'd like more information on this or you have another grammar conundrum.



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