by Clare Jones

I was teaching a lesson recently, talking about driving schools, and I realised I had fallen into the trap of using a false friend. Be careful not to use un instructeur to translate ‘an instructor’. The word you need is un moniteur / une monitrice d’auto-école. The same goes for ‘ski instructor’: you need un moniteur / une monitrice de ski. The French word instructeur or un juge instructeur is an examining magistrate.

Some more vocabulary you might need on this topic is:

une auto-école – a driving school

un apprenti conducteur / une apprentie conductrice – a learner driver

une leçon de conduite – a driving lesson

un disque A – an L plate

Disque A

The reason I was discussing driving lessons is because, unfortunately, a member of my family has been badly let down by the firm Drive Dynamics who took money for lessons but failed to provide a service. If you are looking for driving lessons, beware of this company or you might well need the French expression  je me suis fait avoir ! – I’ve been had!

Here is an article in The Guardian about the agency and in the next few days there will be an exposé on Radio 4’s consumer rights programme, You and Yours.

Faites attention ! – Watch out!

Vous êtes prévenu ! – You have been warned!

A bientôt !


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About the author

Clare Jones was born in the North of England in 1960. She fell in love with the French language at the age of 11 and went on to study it to degree level at Leicester University, where she also became a qualified teacher. In 2011 Clare collaborated with Tamsin Edwards to produce an iPhone application, “Figure out French, Rouler un patin: to give a French kiss and other French expressions for leisure and health”. Though she now lives in England, Clare always has her nose in a French book and she surrounds herself by all things French. She is currently very busy teaching French as a private tutor and when she has the time, she writes a blog on the subject of the French language (click on the blog tab to read it). Clare enjoys tai-chi, swimming, and cycling in the local country park. She is also an enthusiastic member of her local community choir.

About the illustrator

Tamsin Edwards studied art at both Nene Art College, Northampton, and Derby School of Art during the early 1980s. Though well known for her atmospheric watercolour landscapes, Tamsin also creates quirky pen & wash illustrations, often portraying comic images of people and places. Tamsin has already collaborated with Clare Jones to produce an iPhone application. Past commissioned projects also include the children’s storybook ‘Tales of Two Shires’ and a book of poetic verses. As well as regularly exhibiting work and selling to clients around the world, Tamsin has also had several paintings published in an international magazine. To view further examples of her work or to buy original artwork from this book, please visit Tamsin can be contacted at

Author Photo

Illustrator Tamsin Edwards (left) and author Clare Jones (right)

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