homme = husband?

Is "homme" really used in the sense of "husband"?

May 3, 2012


Yep. Actually "femme" is also used that way. Some people naturally say "ma femme" even though they are not married. It's affectionate. It's a way of saying things differently, only because it sounds better for them. The same goes for "mon homme".

If you want to summarize this :

mari = husband (always)

husband = mari (always)

homme = man (always, BUT this man can be married, so he could be called a "husband", but it would be a mistake in this case)

man = homme (always, BUT this man can be married, so he could be called a "mari", but it would be a mistake in this case)

wife = femme (always)

woman = femme (always)

femme = woman OR wife (both are correct, you'll need the context to know which one to use. Remember that even people not married could use "femme", in this case it would be translated "woman".

Ex : "C'est mon amour, c'est ma femme" = "She's my love, my woman"


"Nous venons de nous marier, elle est maintenant ma femme" = "We just got married, she's now my wife")

May 7, 2012

two points to add to this long discussion. - usually you won't hear a woman referring to her man or husband by 'mon homme', because it is perceived as 'vulgar'. She would more lightheartedly say "mon Jules" (whichever his actual first name), "mon fiancé", "mon copain", "mon chéri", "ma moitié". Only one expression is more vulgar than "mon homme" : "mon mec" (slang) - there is also the option of "époux/épouse" which perfectly translate wife/husband (= married partners).

July 2, 2012

@ deNani Sorry, but either your partner from France is wrong, either you misunderstood what he told you. In France, we don't use "mari" for anything else than "husband". Even if the two of them are really in love, if they are not married, there won't be any "mari" around.

BUT as I said before, "homme" can be used both for someone you are married to and for someone you're not, it doesn't matter, because it could mean : "the man I share my life with", "the man I'm married to" or "the man I love", depending on what you feel for him. It is used as a way to show how much you care for the man, it has nothing to do with you're situation with him (he could even be dead for all we know).

I'm sorry, but I find your explanation rather confusing.

May 4, 2012



It's true that "mon homme" and "mon mec" are common language, but they are not vulgar language. It's used a lot in oral form, and if it's perceived as vulgar where you live, it's certainly not the case where I live and have lived.

July 3, 2012

Agreed, I have never known "mec" to be vulgar. It's like "guy" or "dude."

December 23, 2013

However, note that in the context of language, "vulgar" means "common," as opposed to the more modern pejorative use describing poorly mannered behavior. (Vulgar Latin would be some street use of the language, rather than proper ancient or ecclesiastical Latin.)

January 20, 2014

It can be used for both meanings, even for language.

January 21, 2014

Indeed. Thank you for the clarification. I think the important note however, is that vulgar as pejorative should not necessarily be the first impression we have when we read the word. This gets a lot of college students confused in certain humanities courses.

January 21, 2014

My wife uses "mari" when referring to me (as her husband, naturally.)

May 20, 2012

So @csi the suggestion of "husband" to translate "homme" is wrong in my opinion. Simply because no French people will translate it this way (assuming they speak English, that is xD).

May 7, 2012

Thanks for clearing that up Arjo!

May 8, 2012

You're welcome.

May 8, 2012

Mari is what I have always used. I've taken french for three years and I have only heard mari used for husband.

November 7, 2013

And that is right: mari = husband

November 8, 2013

Yes, homme equals man, but it could also mean married husband. Keep up the good work on French csi! (You look like your good at learning languages)

November 8, 2013

Not exactly. It's used verbally to talk about the man you live with, are (in love) with, or married to. It doesn't has to be your husband. It can also be said in the sense : He's the one, the only one, the man of my life...

Ex : "C'est mon homme, je l'aime", "Je vais te présenter à mon homme"...etc

May 3, 2012

Ok, so basically "homme" doesn't mean "husband" the same way that "femme" can mean "wife", right? Duolingo suggests "husband" for "homme" sometimes, so maybe I should suggest they change that if I see it come up again?

May 7, 2012

I found the official entry for Homme in the Larousse dictionary. One of the definitions is: "(Populaire) Mari ou amant." (Colloquial: husband or lover.) (

December 18, 2012

Just a note on something I didn't see in the discussion here, you can also use this in the third person, i.e. "his woman" or "her man". In my experience, using femme and homme rather than the actual marriage terms is more common for significant others than for actual married couples.

August 1, 2012

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