French Lessons: E

English - French Dictionary


eau de toilette
literally “grooming water.” It usually refers to an aromatic product that is less expensive than a perfume because it has less of the aromatic compounds and is more for an everyday use. Can not be shortened as eau, which means something else altogether in French (water).

eau de vie
literally “water of life”; brandy, type of alcoholic drink

en bloc
as a group

en effet  
indeed, that’s right

en fait  
in fact

en famille
expression used in French to express an action done with one’s family: “Tonight we are dining en famille.”

en plein air
literally “in the open air,” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

en pointe
(in ballet) on tiptoe. Though used in French in this same context, it is not an expression as such. A “pointe” is the ballet figure where one stands on tiptoes. The expression “en pointe,” though, means “in an acute angle,” and, figuratively, it qualifies the most progressive or modern things (ideas, industry…).

en principe, oui
“in principle, yes”: a diplomatic way of saying ‘no’

en route
on the way

et patati et patata 
and so on and so forth

et toi?
and you? (Je m’appelle (your name), Et toi?)(my name is (your name) and yours?)

(je suis) enchanté(e)
“(I am) enchanted (to meet you)”: a formal greeting on receiving an introduction. Often shortened to simply “enchanté.”

entre nous
confidentially; literally “between us”

literally “entrance”

desserts/sweet dishes. More literally, a side dish that can be served between the courses of a meal.

être en train de  
be in the process of

excuse me; can be used sarcastically (depends on the tone)

excusez le mot!

pardon the word!; excuse the word!; if a certain word has negative connotations (for example, a word-joke at a time of grief)

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