French word of the week: accès

Welcome to our first French word of the week blog. This series of blogs will take a brief look each week at various words that may be familiar to learners of French: these blogs will offer some easy-to-grasp explanations and examples with English translations, showing how the selected terms are used and understood. We’ll also point you towards audio and grammar resources that will help you to keep building on your knowledge of French.

Our French word of the week for this week is accès. You can find out how to pronounce it here:

Accès is a masculine noun which shares its main meaning with a very similar-looking English word, access:

Cette porte donne accès à la salle à manger. The door gives access to the living room.

Il avait accès auprès du ministre. He had access to the minister.

avoir accès à Internet to have access to the Internet / to have Internet access

code d’accès access code

Note that in certain phrases or sentences, the noun accès may be translated using an adjective or phrase instead. It may even appear to be missing from some English translations – for example:

un endroit d’accès facile an easily accessible location

Le parking est d’un accès malaisé. The car park is not easy to get to.

fournisseur d’accès à Internet Internet service provider (literally “provider of Internet access”)

The word accès has another couple of common, related meanings in French. When used in a medical context, it can refer to a sudden episode of illness:

un accès de fièvre a bout of fever

un accès de toux a coughing fit

un accès de vertige a dizzy spell

More figuratively, it can refer to a moment of strong emotion:

un accès de colère an angry outburst

un accès de joie a rush of joy

un accès de remords a pang of remorse

We hope this series of blogs will give our readers further access to some of the words from our French dictionary – come back next week to find out what our next French word of the week will be!

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