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French Foes

The French native mauvais and also mal deserve to be tricky because that French students due to the fact that they both belong come three various parts of speech (adjectives, adverbs, nouns) and have similar meanings. If you have actually a bad understanding the the difference, the wouldn’t it is in a poor idea to review this lesson.

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1) Adjectives

While mauvais and mal deserve to both be adjectives, mauvais is the more common one. It offer to define a noun as "bad" together in mean, wrong, poor quality, and the like.

Par exemple…

C’est une mauvaise idée.That’s a poor idea.
Le lait est déjà mauvais.The milk is currently bad.
L’eau est mauvaise, c’est sale.The water is bad, it’s dirty.
Je n’ai qu’un mauvais vélo.I only have actually a poor-quality bike.

In contrast, once mal is one adjective, it’s supplied with copular (state-of-being) verbs and way "bad" follow me the currently of feeling of immoral, unsatisfying, unhealthy, or unattractive.

Ce serait mal si tu l’oubliais.It would certainly be bad if girlfriend forgot it.
C’est mal de dire ça.It’s poor to to speak that.
La nouvelle peinture fait mal.The new paint watch bad.
On est mal en ce moment.We’re no doing well at the moment.

2) Adverbs

When it comes to adverbs, mal bring away the lead. Together an adverb that manner, it means "badly, poorly, not well":

Tout va mal.Everything is walk wrong.
J’ai mal mangé.I ate poorly.
Il s’entend mal avec les enfants.He doesn’t gain along well v children.
Le travail est mal fait.The work-related is poorly done.

It’s also found in the expression of quantity pas mal de:

J’ai pas mal de travail à faire.I have actually quite a bit of job-related to do.
Elle connaît pas mal d’avocats.She knows rather a couple of lawyers.

With faire and sentir, mauvais is an adverb definition "bad, unpleasant":

Il fait mauvais dans les montagnes.The weather is poor in the mountains.
Ça sent mauvais.That smells bad.

3) Nouns

As a noun, le mauvais way "the poor part" or "disadvantage(s)":

J’ai jeté le mauvais.I threw far the poor part.
Cette equipment ne présente que du mauvais.This solution supplies only disadvantages.


les mauvais = the wicked, negative peoplele Mauvais = the Devil

Le mal refers to "evil," "pain," or "illness":

le bien et le malgood and evil
J’ai mal partout.

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I ache (have pain) everywhere.
le mal de mer, de paysseasickness, homesickness

Plural: les maux