How to say -to attend in French?

If you want to say -to attend (an event) in French, don't use the verb "attendre" because it's a "false friend". 

"False friend" means a word in one language looks similar to a word in another language, but has a complete different meaning. 

For example, "attendre" means to wait in French, not to attend. If you want to say to attend in French, use the verb "assister". Read more below. 

Attendre (To wait)

Attendre means to wait for something or someone. It's used with no preposition.

For example:

J'attends mon Uber. (I'm waiting for my Uber)

Nous attendons depuis une heure. (We've been waiting for an hour.) 

Tu peux m'attendre? (Can you wait for me?)

Assister (To attend, assist, help)

Assister means to attend an event. It's usually used with the preposition "à".

For example:

Je vais assister à une réunion ce soir. (I will attend a meeting tonight.)

Nous avons assisté à une conférénce. (We attended a conference.)

Assister also means to help or assist someone. It's used with no preposition.

For example:

L'infirmière assiste le médecin. (The nurse helps the doctor.)

Here are the conjugations of these two verbs in present tense:

J'attends J'assiste
Tu attends Tu assistes
Il/elle/on attend Il/elle/on assiste
Nous attendons Nous assistons
Vous attendez Vous assistez
Ils/elles attendent Ils/elles assistent
***Other verbs conjugated like attendre are : entendre (to hear), perdre (to lose), rendre (to return), vendre (to sell) and répondre (to answer). 


Let's practice! 

Complete the sentences below with attendre or assister. Check your answers below.

1) Tu peux m'_____ deux minutes? 

2) Nous ____ l'ambulance depuis une heure. 

3) Tu vas _____ au mariage de ma cousine? 

4) Mes collègues ______ mon patron à l'aéroport. 

5) Elle n'_____ pas à la conférence à Toronto.


Answer key

1) Attendre

2) Attendont

3) Assister

4) Attendent

5) Assiste


Click the picture to check your answer.

Check out my book Don't mix them up to learn the differences between the most confusing French word pairs

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