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Meaning of "fille" in French

  • 1602

In French, "fille" has two meanings:

1) "girl", when the sentence is about a female child.

  • Ex: "Je suis une fille." translates to "I am a girl."

In such case, "daughter" is NOT accepted on Duolingo.

2) "daughter", when the sentence clearly implies a family connection between some parent(s) and the female child.

  • Ex: "C'est notre fille." translates to "She is our daughter."

In such case, "girl" is also accepted on Duolingo. Note that "fille" in the sense of "daughter" is often preceded by a possessive adjective (ma/ta/sa/notre/votre/leur).

You have to use the context to determine whether you should translate "fille" to "girl" or "daughter".

March 26, 2014



Merci pour l'information utile!


N'oubliez pas votre « l' » ! ;)


I always forget!! It's so frustrating when you make little mistakes, you know? );


I can relate. I started DL to review my French that I take in school (I now use DL only for German) and I didn't realize that even in my 2nd year I forgot that fille meant girl, homme means boy and that comme means like (not aimer like, but in a simile).

  • 1602

"homme" means "man"

"garçon" means "boy"


Oops. Thats what I meant to say. I had just finished a German lesson with lots of the word Junge so I was thinking boy at the time :D.


that deserves a lingot, mes ami Remy

  • 1602

*mon ami ;-)


Your single handedly creating both forward and reverse courses justifies the error of pluralization :)


excusez-moi, mon ami. for caring enough to correct me (educate me), you get another lingot


What is the word for daughter? If I were to say "I am a daughter"?


In your post you said "1) "girl", when the sentence is about a female child. Ex: "Je suis une fille." translates to "I am a girl." In such case, "daughter" is NOT accepted on Duolingo."

So how would you say I am a daughter in that instance?


I'd say you wouldn't. ;-) To make a bit of sense, the sentence would have to be "I am the daughter of X." or "I am X's daughter." : "Je suis la fille de Pierre", for example.


Never mind, I read some of the hidden comments and found the answer to that.


What if you wanted to say "She is a bad girl but she is a good daughter?"


Very interesting question!

Actually, you can either play with the adjectives (choice and placement) or you can change the first noun (to a colloquial synonym) - or you can do both.


  • c'est une fille méchante, mais une bonne fille
  • c'est une vilaine fille, mais une fille aimante (caring)
  • c'est une sale gamine/gosse, mais une bonne fille

Note that "une mauvaise fille" will almost automatically mean "a bad daughter".

Similarly "une vilaine fille, une fille méchante, une sale gamine, une salle gosse" are about a "girl" and not a "daughter".


Thanks for the response. It's interesting how the adjectives help determine the meaning of the word.


In fact, you can do the same thing in English: "In the picture, that is our girl," spoken by a couple pointing at a younger female will be understood as "our daughter."


Can "ma fille" also mean my girlfriend?

  • 1602

No, "ma fille" does not mean "my girlfriend".


Ma copine, or ma blonde (in Québecois).


Or petite amie.


Or "ma gonzesse"--which always makes me chuckle.


Or "ma meuf" (verlan = reverse of "ma femme") - only for teens' usage...


I never realized meuf was verlan for femme!! Wow, thank you! We do learn every day!


Be wary though that both "ma meuf" and "ma gonzesse" have a strong macho connotation on top of the colloquial register, which might be inapropriate.


A few others:

  • "un keuf" = un flic (slang for policeman)
  • "il est ouf" = il est fou (crazy)
  • "il est chelou" = il est louche (fishy)
  • "il est relou" = il est lourd (heavy/slow/clumsy)


Petite amie is the proper french translation of girlfriend. The other ones mentioned here fall into the colloquial or slang category.


Yes, in France. No one says that in Quebec. We say blonde.


Or "ma nana".


Now that is funny because in English "my nana" would be "my grandmother"!


This is interesting, because since it obviously comes from the Latin "fillia" which means "daughter", why is "boy" not related to "fillius" in French? Or maybe "puer"?


"fils" which means "son" is the word that is related to "fillius" in Latin. In French the word for "daughter" from Latin came to mean "girl" as its primary meaning for every girl in the world is someone's daughter, but the word "garcon" for boy has a completely different etymology being related to the word "gars" both of which come to French from the language of the Francs. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/gar%c3%a7on/36087?q=gar%c3%a7on#36043 http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/gars/36201?q=gars#36154 http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/gaillard/35811?q=gaillard#35774 http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/francique/35031?q=francique#35001


Merci. Je suis d'accord.


quite frankly I didn't know the word for daughter so I wrote fille expecting to be corrected but voila it was right. But, thanks for the above. I'll keep a mental note.


In English i have said: "To all who are fathers, sisters, mothers, friends, daughters, etc." How would this work in French?


A toutes celles et tous ceux qui sont des pères, des soeurs, des mères, des ami(e)s, des filles, etc. + des épouses (wives)


"Fille" with the meaning of "daugher" is always preceded with a possessive, or linked in a possession with "de".

J'ai vu ta fille mercredi.
La fille de Marcelle est jolie.

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