False friends : passer un exam ≠ pass an exam

I’ve noticed that there can be a little confusion sometimes when it comes to talking about exams in French! :bear_meh:

If someone tells you:
j’ai passé mon permis de conduire hier:blue_car: or “j’ai passé un examen (scolaire ou médical):memo:,
don’t congratulate them yet! The person you are talking to has only told you that they took an exam, the result of which is not yet known!

To translate “I passed my exam” we will use different verbs such as avoir, réussir, obtenir.

  • J’ai mon bac !                                          I passed my baccalaureate!
  • J’ai obtenu mon diplôme en 2008.        I passed my diploma / I graduated in 2008.
  • Tu as réussi ton examen de français !    You passed your French exam!   :tada:

Is that clearer to you now ? :bear_happy:


Je n’ai pas réussi mon examen de français!! :joy:

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Oh vraiment @mgm ?!! Quel examen as-tu passé ? Le DELF ?

Non, pas vraiment!! Désolé…pardonnez-moi, @Amandine! I was trying to make a joke that sounded much better in my head, where it should have stayed. :grimacing:

But now I know I’m bad at telling jokes in two languages!! :rofl:

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Hahaha!! Pas de problème, I prefer it to be a joke! :wink:
Your sentence/joke was perfectly correct though :ok_hand: :ok_hand:

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