"Elle a passé un examen d'anglais."

Translation:She took an English exam.

December 26, 2012

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This is confusing me. Did she sit, take, attend or pass the exam? 'Pass' means she was successful in the exam, the others that she merely attempted it.


"Passer un examen" means simply that she took/sat the exam, it doesn't imply anything about how she did. If you want to say that she passed (ie was successful) you'd use réussir


So why is "pass" given as a possible translation for "passé"?

  • 2056

"Passer" can mean "to pass" in the sense of passing by a place or a point, or for time to pass. Those definitions don't work in this sentence.


Could I have put "She wrote an English exam"?


It's not idiomatic in English (but I realise it is in some languages). In English, 'she wrote an essay' (possibly as part of an exam), but 'she took an exam'. After all, if it was multiple choice, she may not have written anythign - just coloured in little circles. It could even have been an oral exam...


OK, actually, it seems "write an exam" is common in Canada. I found some examples on Canadian university websites. (Most other uses of "write an exam" refer to the teacher creating the exam.)

Can any Canadians confirm this?


I'm from Toronto, and we say that the teacher/prof makes the exam, and the students write it.


I had no idea Canada used such different phrasing for that! In the US "wrote the exam" would be what the teacher does and the students take it.


I am from western Canada, and have always heard (and said) the students write an exam. The teacher usually sets, creates, or makes the exam.


yes, you are right!


Same in England! Candidates "take" an exam... but are also said to "sit an exam."


And "passed" is wrong??


Different meaning - "She passed an exam" means she was successful - she got over 50%, or whatever the 'pass mark' was.


Yes, "passed" is wrong. "To pass an exam" is « réussir (à) un examen. »


This seems ambiguous to me. Did she take an exam (maybe a physics exam?) in the English language? Or an exam on the subject of the English language or literature? Could it have been an exam of the English language taken at a French school?


An exam in the English language would be « un examen en anglais » ; « un examen d'anglais » unambiguously means "an English exam" (an exam on the subject of English), no matter where it's taken.


I put "she has passed an English exam" which I think means the same as an exam in English. Please correct me if I am wrong!


"Passer un examen" only means to write the exam, not necessarily to pass it. If you do actually pass, you would use "réussir (à) un examen".


So, definitely not the same usage as US English in this sentence.


As I usually say, "faux ami is a bitch".

  • 1850

Earlier "Il a passe un examen d'anglais" gave me a correct answer of "He has sat an English test". Why then does it say it is incorrect to use this "She has sat an English test" for this phrase? Please explain why this is so inconsistent.


"She has sat an English exam" is not accepted; "She sat an English exam" is.

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