As far as I knew, it meant boyfriend/girlfriend...that is how my french friends use it. I put "partner" and it was not accepted.
That would be accepted by a french teacher because copain does mean boyfriend, but it would depend on the context. it always means friend, but in the right context it can mean boyfriend or partner as another translation
Even if both the French "copain" and the English "partner" in some cases would translate into each other, you have to remember that "copain" to mean "boyfriend" is unformal, and most people wouldn't use it to describe the person you've been living with for ten years (even if you're unmarried). It's the same for English: you wouldn't use "partner" if you were 20 and had been dating somebody or four months.
Super moi : A really good way to describe it. I was wondering too, because I know copain to be boyfriend.
I've only known it to mean friend (e.g "bavarder avec des copains"" = to speak with friends)
they come from the same root.... latin for (person) to break food/bread with.
Latin is the BEST. I wish I could have continued studying it - now I just hope for duolingo to get a Latin-tree.
Definition: (informal) - buddy, pal, mate; boyfriend Feminine: une copine
I wonder if the French go around referring to everyone as their "mate" as we do here in Australia to reduce formality ;)
My experience is that they mostly use this word to mean boyfriend/girlfriend. Important thing to know before you use the word in mixed company!
Not exactly, "ami" would be just a friend you do know (but aren't close to) while "copain" would mean a close friend or someone you usually hang out with.
It's not the same to say "he's my friend" than "he's my pal"
Oh, and while I answer this, I have an open question to all. Would "His pal is a journalist." work too?
3 people are my friends. John is my boyfriend. Patty is a girl i have lunch with sometimes. Mary is my best friend since childhood. How do i use copain and ami to describe them?
John est mon petit-ami, Patty est mon amie, et Mary est ma copine. Easiest way to distinguish between them all.
Petit(e)-ami(e)=boyfriend/girlfriend Copain/Copine=Close friend, or in the correct context, boyfriend/girlfriend Ami/Amie=Friend, pal, buddy, etc.
You can be good friends with someone and call them ami(e) because it could be misinterpreted otherwise. As an example, if John (a man) were to say, "Sally est ma copine," it would mean that Sally is his girlfriend. Were Sally simply a friend, even a good friend of John, he would likely say, "Sally est mon amie," to avoid confusion.
That's correct, unless you're adding some kind of modifier to the profession, I believe (like an adjective).
You believe right. You would say: "Son copain est un journaliste extraordinaire" = "His friend is an extraordinary journalist".
Isn't "copain" masculine and should therefore be followed by "journalist"?
No, journaliste doesn't vary in gender and always takes an "e" at the end. It's one of those confusing words that we have.
This also means friend? Around my family when we are speaking French I always here this word when we're talking about dates.
It can be either, depending on context, and, I imagine, what portion of the French-speaking world you are in. See super_moi's reply to KellyBobelly's comment further up the thread.
My French teachers (other than duo), and all my French friends, told me unambiguously that "copain" means a boyfriend when used with a possessive pronoun, and is only used as "friend" with a definite or indefinite articles. So I am really doubtful on this...
That is the way "femme" works - "une femme" = a woman, "ma femme" = my wife. It would make sense if "copain" works the same way, but I'm not the one who can say. I hope our francophone colleagues will contribute their expertise.
I put "His buddy is a journalist" and it marked it wrong. The note said "Her buddy is a journalist" is accepted. Why?
I personally think that, in the recent questions DUO gave me, friend was "amie", or, "ami." So "copain" and "ami/-e" is a bit confusing to me.
I love DL consequence - in one exercise "copain" is translated to "companion" and "friend" is not accepted, when in this exercise it is the opposite. :)
Here on the discussion page the translation is given as "His friend is a journalist." That's what I wrote, and it was marked incorrect, saying that it should have been "Her friend is a journalist." Obviously, either is correct. Duolingo can be so annoying.