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This particular word "parcours" is really a pain in the behind for me.  I looked up the meaning in the dictionary couple of times, then I forgot what it means. And now I heard it over the radio and still don't get it so it is really getting me down. ( Parcourir )

    Will some kind souls out there do me a favour, give me sentence that is funny so that I can remember it. When you read something funny you usually remember it better. ( J'espere que je ne pas trop de demander" - I hope I am not asking too much (have i got it right i wonder).


    Here's a joke in english,  ' An elderly english lady went to a shoe shop to buy a pair of shoes, she tried on the shoe and said to the shop assistant, " It is too tight"  And the shop assistant said " You have got the tongue inside, you need to stick the tongue out".  And the elderly lady looking at the shop assistant, said "You mean like this", and stick her tongue out.


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There is 2 meanings (not very distant) for this word :

 - it can be a journey, a course. You can think of a training course (parcours du combatant)

 - it can refer to a carreer : parcours scolaire (school carreer), parcours politique (political carreer)


Funny joke but not works in French. The shoe tongue is languette

Ok Erwan, thank so much for your  reply.  So I try to remember, a journey, a course  , a career. 

   I hope this time it will stick. 

I didn't know 'Languette" is tongue of shoe in french. Quite interesting word. Once again thank you

"Parcourir" has another signification : it can mean to read and look to something quickly. You can say "Parcourir un livre".

In most cases, the general idea between "Parcourir" is, I think, to go through something, whereas a challenge (Parcours du combattant), a carreer or a book.

Sorry, I can't think of anything truly humorous to make this word stick.  But you might have some luck by working back to the verb form "parcourir."  In a general sense, that means "to pass over," "traverse" or possibly "to sweep over" (if you are taking in a scene with the eyes, for instance).  "Courir," of course, means "to run," and "par" can be sometimes best be translated by the word "over."   Here are two examples: "Il courit par les rues" and "par tout le pays."  So, "he runs about the streets" (covering the territory, so to speak, as he runs hither and thither), and in the latter example "all over the country."  Or just let your imagination run free and think of Napoleon's army making its way in a broad swath across Europe.  Here is Stendhal's use of the word (from La Chartreuse De Parme): " Bien des années avant 1830, dans le temps où nos armées parcouraient l'Europe, le hasard me donna un billet de logement pour la maison d'un chanoine . . .  "    

Merci Lonnie et Lauris, I will try to be more aware ot this word when I come across it in my reading: sometimes we don't pay enough attention so we don't remember them.

      This is an amazingly good website, with lots of people helping you out . Good job you are doing .

"Il courit par les rues"   I think you mean "Il court par les rues" or "courut" if you want a simple past.

Fonctions racines n-ièmes



You are correct, and my apologies for the lapse.   Thanks for catching it.
No worries. Welcome on board.

I just came across this entry.  I went over the word with a French Canadian and these examples help me understand it. 

  1. to travel/run all over a place in search of.   parcourir la ville à la recherche de
  2. to cover a distance.    He walked all the way to Berlin.   Il a parcouru à pied la route jusqu’à Berlin. 
  3. There’s still a long way to go.  Il reste un longue chemin à parcourir.
  4. The RR runs right across the region.  Le chemin de fer parcourt toute la region.
  5. to skim, to scan.  to glance around a place -- parcourir un endroit des yeux  


You can add :

To browse through a book : parcourir un livre 


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