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  5. "J'ai perdu mon passeport."

"J'ai perdu mon passeport."

Translation:I lost my passport.

December 4, 2016



The English "lost" can mean either that I cannot find my passport or that some official revoked my passport. Does French carry both meanings?


I don't think so, they use the verbs annuler or révoquer. As an English speaker, I also would never take "I've lost my passport" to mean anything other than the person had misplaced it somewhere and can't find it.

For example, see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/francais/passeport/securite/sec-nationale.asp


In the US "to lose a driver's license" can carry the meaning of having a license revoked due to some misdemeanor or felony, typically driving under the influence. Context will always very clearly indicate whether the phrase indicates that the license was revoked or misplaced except in the most ambiguous of sentences. You wouldn't be able to tell which meaning is meant if someone said, for example, "due to my past improvidence and lack of proper care for my affairs, I've lost my driver's license". Misplacing the license and committing a crime that resulted in the license being confiscated both fit that description, so that's a perfect phrase to use if you like to be unbearably vague and generally don't care about having friends.

More often you'll hear something like "I lost my driver's license after being caught drunk-driving" (license revoked) or "I lost my driver's license; I've looked up and down and can't find it anywhere." (license misplaced). Only slightly ambiguous is the warning "If you drive drunk, you'll lose your license" (probably license revoked, but then again drunks aren't known for their incredible mental capacities like keeping track of objects).

I've been focusing on driver's licenses because those get lost way more often than passports. But I'm sure that the mechanics of what exactly "to lose" means when applied to a passport are the same as with a driver's license.


Just to let you know the UK spelling is: a licence (noun) but licensing laws or alcohol licensing.

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