Welcome back to our weekly blog for French learners. Today we’re looking at the adjective pareil.
As always, we’ll begin by familiarising ourselves with how the word sounds. Listen to the audio clip below to hear its masculine form:
It’s also worth noting that the feminine form, pareille, has the same pronunciation as the masculine pareil.
The main English translation of pareil is to describe something as the same, similar or identical. When learning French, it sometimes helps to find any similarities with English words to help us remember certain translations. For instance, if you think about how it relates to words like par, pair, or parallel, this might remind you of the meaning of pareil.
- Pareille, its feminine singular form
- Pareils, its masculine plural form
- Pareilles, its feminine plural form
For more about this, you can see our Easy Learning French Grammar page about adjectival agreements.
Let’s get started with some examples of the word in action:
pareil à like; similar to
à peu près pareil about the same; near enough the same
Elles sont tout à fait pareilles. They’re exactly the same.
Ces deux pantalons ne sont pas pareils. These two pairs of trousers aren’t the same.
en pareil cas in such a case
On n’a jamais vu une tempête pareille. We’d never seen a storm like it.
You might have read one of our previous blogs where we explored the French adjective même, which also translates as ‘same’. It’s worth reading this blog too – while these two words have similar translations in some contexts, they are not quite interchangeable. It can help to learn the set examples in our blogs.
Sometimes pareil / pareille can also appear in sentences as a noun:
ne pas avoir son pareil / sa pareille to be second to none
rendre la pareille to reciprocate; to give the same back; to return the favour
sans pareil / pareille incomparable; unrivalled
Son nouveau film est incroyable, vraiment sans pareil. Her new film is incredible, truly like nothing else.
Also, in less formal French, you may see pareil used as an adverb:
faire pareil to do the same; to do likewise
Tout le monde devrait faire pareil. Everybody should do likewise.
« Je prends le bœuf, et toi ? » « Pareil. » “I’m getting the beef, what about you?” “Same.”
Good job on gaining yet more knowledge of another French word. We hope to see you back next week for some more of the same!
Written by Holly Tarbet, freelance copywriter and editor.
All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.