Avoid False Friends in Your English: Location v Rental

Freelance Content Writer and Editor

Avoid False Friends in Your English: Location v Rental

Neon Sign saying Bad Habits, text with False friends, location v rental

Ever called an estate agent about a rental, but they just kept giving you the address? You may have fallen foul to the French false friend location. Also known as cognates, false friends are words that look or sound the same in your native language but mean something different in English.

And to think that house hunting is stressful enough without the language barrier!

The word location is widely used in the property business in England and France, from estate agencies’ windows to real estate advertisements. But even though the word looks the same in English and French, English speakers won’t understand you if you use it the same way.

In French

In French, location means to pay money to use property that belongs to someone else. But in English, we use the words rental/to rent instead:

I’m renting my apartment from a friend of mine.
This house isn’t for sale, it’s a rental.

In English

In English, location means the place or position where someone or something is, or where something happens.

This looks like an ideal location to open our new shop.
Have they pinpointed his location on the map yet?

  • In a French property listing, location tells you that it’s a property for let.
  • But in an English property listing, location is the area the property is in.

The word is so important in property sales that it’s a motto:

There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.

The Bottom Line

So the next time you want to use the word location in English, think first — do you mean the address of the property, or if the property is for rent?

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Yvonne Reilly is a freelance copywriter and editor for hire. Her mission is to make boring business web copy and blogs sparkle. She loves working with businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. Raised in Dublin and Luxembourg, she considers herself a professional Eurobrat and spends her free time sniffing out travel deals. Contact Yvonne or visit her website for more information on her services and to view her portfolio.

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