These words all look reasonably similar but they’re not, of course, or I wouldn’t be talking about them.

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Une côte sur la piste cyclable

To start off via, cote and côte are not also remotely associated and not even pronounced in the same way! Cote is pronounced much favor the English “cot” whereas côte is nearly choose “caught” however not fairly. To an untrained Anglo-Saxon ear, they sound pretty much the same of course but they’re not!

Cote originates from the mediaeval Latin quota pars interpretation each one’s share, which gives a totality range of derivative interpretations such as a quotation on the stock sector, a institution grade, someone’s rating or standing (la cote de popularité du président = the president’s popularity rating (very low at the moment), elle a la cote = she’s very renowned at the moment) and also also dimension (as-tu pris toutes les cotes = have actually you taken all the measurements?).

Côte, through its circumflex indicating a dropped “s” you might remember, comes from the Latin costa interpretation “flank” and has even more definitions than cote.

First we have the ribs in our body (j’ai mal aux côtes = I have actually sore ribs), causing expressions such as côte à côte = side by side.


Côtes premières et côtes découvertes – the height one is découverte and also bottom première

Then we have pet ribs with côte d’agneau = lamb chop, côte première = loin chop, because it’s among the initially ones on the rib and côte découverte, my favourite which is the ones streaked with fat better along the rib. I don’t, yet, understand what they are called in English. Any suggestions?

Another definition of côte is the type of ribbing you get in velvet (velours à larges côtes = wide rib corduroy, velours côtelé being regular corduroy) or knitting (j’ai fait les poignets en côtes = I did the cuffs in ribbing).

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But doesn’t côte expect “coast”, I can hear you saying. How carry out you get from rib to coast? Well, the shore flanks the sea or ocean, doesn’t it? So we have actually Côte d’Azur = the French Riviera. Also, tright here is no separate word for coastline. Une côte rocheuse = a rocky shore while a coast road = une path qui longe la côte however more frequently than not it is called une corniche (or course en corniche).

An totally various interpretation, but still attached to the principle of flank, is slope or hillside. This is one you should recognize when you’re cycling (si la côte est trop dure, je descends du vélo = if the hill is as well steep, I obtain off my bike).

A hillbegin in a auto is un démarrage en côte.

But coteau also indicates a slope or hillside and can even intend a hill only it’s not offered in the very same way.


Les vignes poussent sur un coteau

A coteau is a hillside or slope on which vineyards are grvery own to begin via. You might remember some really steep ones we witnessed in Germany kind of this summer along the Moselle. Les vignes poussaient tout au long du coteau = There were vines prospering all alengthy the hillside/slope BUT Je suis arrivée en haut de la côte sans m’arrêter = I got to the peak of the hill without avoiding (yes, it does happen!)

In fact, the slopes on either side of a river are always called coteaux. Il habite sur le coteau = He resides on the side of the hill and not Il habite sur la côte which implies he stays on the coast. Now, isn’t that confusing?

The only way I can really explain is that coteau gives the idea of a surconfront location whereas côte shows elevation. I think the initially and also last photos illustrate the distinction well. Are you with me?