Hello everybody !

Did you have a good week end ? I hope so even if it rained.

Well, today, we will play on words, enlarge our vocabulary thanks to two ways:

-          homonyms and idioms

-          vocabulary linked to physical appearance or personnality.

Let us start on this matter.


Source: http://a4esl.org/q/h/

  1. Is that a ___ tree or a birch tree?
    a. beach
    b. beech

This question is related to two kind of trees. The equivalent of “birch tree” is in French “bouleau”. The “beach” is the place with sand near the sea where it is quite good to be to sunbathe (se faire bronzer) during holidays. A “beech tree” means “hetre” in French. The answer is B.

  1. Bread tastes better the longer you ___ the dough.
    a. need
    b. knead

“Dough” is linked to bread. It refers to the material of bread, the paste made with flour (farine), edible oil (huile cosmestible), yeast (levure) and water. To need refers to something which is necessary to have or to do. To knead means “petrir” in French. The answer is B.

  1. The little boy needed to ___ so his mother stopped the car.
    a. pea
    b. pee

No doubt here, it is necessary to stop the car because the little boy needs to go to toilet, public conveniences, lavatory. A “pea” is a small round green vegetable (pois). The expression with “pee” is “to pee” or “to have a pee”. In French, faire pipi.

  1. For better texture you must ___ the dough longer.
    a. knead
    b. kneed
    c. need

Texture is the same as in French. “Knee” is a part of body which let us fold (plier) legs. It means “genou”. We can imagine “kneed” is the preterit linked to this word as it is not recorded on dictionary. The answer is A.

  1. The retired couple went on a pleasure ship ___ to the East Indies.
    a. crews
    b. cruise

“A pleasure ship” is a nice expression to mention “bateau de plaisance”. The “crew” refers to the team working on vessels. The “cruise” is linked to the way of travelling on the sea on a boat. The French equivalent is “croisiere”. The answer is B.

  1. The national anthem of the gold ___ winner is played during the awards ceremony.
    a. medal
    b. meddle

Hearing the national anthem for contests (football, rugby for instance) is a tradition. La Marseillaise is the French national anthem (hymne national). A “medal” is a metal reward in gold, silver or bronze (medaille). “To meddle with/in something” means to be interested on someone else’s affairs (se meler de quelque chose). The answer is A.

  1. Are you ___ dressed?
    a. already
    b. all ready

“To be dressed” means to put clothes/garments on (etre en tenue de). Already means “deja” whereas “all ready” means “tous prets”. The answer is A.

  1. The sour milk made Evelyn ___.
    a. retch
    b. wretch

“Sour” is an adjective which means aigre, acide. “Retch” is the equivalent of do not feel very well because your stomach cannot accept something (avoir des haut-le-coeur). “Wretch” is a noun. It means to be unhappy, poor (malheureux, miserable). To feel wretched is to be depressed (avoir le cafard, ne pas etre dans son assiette). The answer is A.

  1. The student __ meets every Wednesday.
    a. counsel
    b. council
    c. consul

A “counsel” (avocat) is someone who defends your interests in front of the law court. A “council” (conseil) can be a district (conseil municipal), a county one (conseil departemental) or a council house (habitation a loyer modere). A “consul’ is a title for a country representant in another place (for example the consul of France in Hong Kong). The answer is B.   

  1. The drunkard walked along the street with an unsteady ___.
    a. gait
    b. gate

A drunkard is someone who used to unreservedly (sans restriction) drink alcohool. Unsteady refers to someone or something who/which is not reliable (fiable), fixed (stable), regular, sure. A gait is the way of walking (demarche, facon de marcher). A gate is a kind of door for garden, in wooden (en bois), iron (en fer), at sportsground (terrain de jeu). It is the equivalent of “un portail, une barriere” in French.


  1. To "lash out" means to ___.
    a. shout at someone
    b. relax
    c. kick or punch someone

  2. To "laugh off" means to ___.
    a. make lots of jokes
    b. make lots of noise
    c. not take something seriously

  3. To "lean on" someone means to ___.
    a. entertain them
    b. pressure them
    c. annoy them

  4. "In less than no time" means ___.
    a. in a few days
    b. much later
    c. very soon

To do it "like mad" means to do it ___.
a. enthusiastically
b. sloppily
c. carefully

Answers: 1C – 2C – 3B – 4C – 5A

to lash out at someone: invectiver, donner des coups de poings / se livrer a de folles depenses

to laugh off: tourner en plaisanterie

to lean on/against: s’appuyer sur/contre

in less than no time: en tres peu de temps

like mad: comme un derate


Are these adjectives connected with physical appearance or personnality? Write them in the correct column. Careful! There is one that can go in both columns.

Bespectacled                       moody                   freckled                 two-faced

Big-headed                           brainy                    graceful                 wrinkled

Quick-tempered                   skinny                   nosy                      bald

Absent-minded                   cheeky                   spotty                    well-built

Narrow-minded                    affectionate          smart                      curly

Hard-hearted                        agile                       chubby

Physical appearance




Bespectacled : it refers to someone who wears spectacles (glasses) – translation: portant des lunettes

Skinny: someone who does not eat a lot or who cannot put on weight (grossir) – translation: maigre

Agile: same as in French as a dancer is agile and graceful (gracieux).

Bold: someone who does not have a lot of hair or no hair at all like Fabien Barthes – translation: chauve

Curly: refers to hair, they have ringlets/curls – translation: boucle, frise

Freckled: someone who has on face or other parts of body some red dots on skin – translation: aux taches de rousseur

Graceful: who has an elegant gait, has class, style – translation: gracieux

Spotty: who has some spots on skin – translation: boutonneux

Chubby: who has a round face, curves (rondeurs) – translation: joufflu, potele

Wrinkled: touched especially women as there are a lot of cosmetics linked to anti-wrinkles treatment. Wrinkled is something with pleats (plis) – translation: ride

Well-built: someone who is physically strong, robust – translation: solide


Big-headed: we also have this figure of speech/metaphor (figure de style, metaphore) in French. It means someone is very proud of himself/herself, no doubt about his/her values – translation: craneur

Quick-tempered: it is someone who is nervous. It is easy to make him/her become angry or crazy – translation: emporte, prompt(e) a la colere

Absent-minded: someone who is not able to keep his/her concentration or listen carefully – translation: distrait

Narrow-minded: opposite of being open-minded (large d’esprit, ouvert), who has very strict ideas – translation: borne, a l’esprit etroit

Hard-hearted: who is not generous, has no mercy for others – translation: impitoyable, au coeur dur

Moody: who does not have regular mood (humeur) – translation: d’humeur changeante, lunatique

Brainy: we can recover “brain” – brainy means to be intelligent – translation: intelligent, cale

Cheeky: who does not respect politeness rules, has a lack of respect – translation: insolent, effronte

Affectionate: who loves something, someone very easily – translation: affectueux

Two-faced: very interesting word as easy to remember – when you are two-faced, you are yourself and another person – you play on two different grounds – translation: hypocrite

Nosy: very curious, who is interested in a lof of subjects, topics – curieux

Smart: who can find a solution in any kind of situation, who has a style – habile, debrouillard, “bien”

Hope you have learned some new words or revise in a good way.

Come back shortly...

With best wishes,