Trempé ou trompé?

Trempé ou trompé?

trah-PAY oo traw-PAY? aa-tah-seeYAW! Click below to hear this pronounced!  

Soaked or deceived?

Yesterday’s post was all about getting soaked, trempé(e). As bad as that might be, it could be worse. Mispronounce trempé, and you might wind up being trompé, deceived or cheated on.

Unfortunately, the pronunciation of these two words is extremely close. If you are a learner of French, it may take some time before your ears are even able to hear the difference.

Here’s a hint: watch the mouth of the speaker. Most likely, even though the sounds seem nearly identical, you will see a clear difference on the face.

Trempé: on the first vowel sound, the speaker’s jaw will drop and the lips will be lax or loose.

Trompé: the lips will be forcefully rounded and will protrude forward; the chin may jut forward a little, but in any case the jaw will be tense and closed. Try it in front of a mirror and see if you make these two different faces!

As for the use of these two participles, we’ve already seen the first in a full sentence (yesterday’s post). The second has several uses. Watch out! How you use it makes a big difference!

J’ai été trompé(e): I have been deceived, which in turn really means that my spouse has been cheating on me, or that I have been tricked in some equally serious fashion.

Je me suis trompé(e) means I made a mistake: in other words, I deceived myself into thinking I was right. Je me suis trompé(e) de numéro means I dialed a wrong number.

But J’ai été trempé(e) just means I got sopping wet.

And those little (e) at the end of these expressions? Those are for us girls to use. The guys don’t need them. The (e) makes the expression feminine.

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