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1) i know barbed wire is "fil de fer barbelé," but if i just refer to an electrical wire, do i use "le fil" or "fil de fer?"  the dictionary has both.  

2) i learned to say "donner/recevoir un coup de telephone" but i see that "un coup de fil" is used according to the dictionary.  is this correct?

3) the dictionary also has these two: 

au fil des années      over the years  

au fil du temps - over time, as time goes by  

i would use "au cours."  are the given examples correct? 

4)  the dictionary also says: 

   [+couteau]   (=tranchant)   edge  

is "fil" used for "edge?"  i learned that "tranche" is used.  

merci d'avance

 

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Yes they are all correct-and good . An edge/blade of a knife is also "une lame".

http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/lame/46033

I can't  help you with an electric wire" ,though.(except that "fil de fer" seems inappropriate and "le fil" would probably do)

Hi Everybody, Alan and George.

“1) i know barbed wire is "fil de fer barbelé," but if i just refer to an electrical wire, do i use "le fil" or "fil de fer?" the dictionary has both.”

No, even if this wire is made in metal, it’s incorrect to use “fil de fer” or just “le fil”. The current expression is : “fil électrique”, that is to say, literaly “electrical wire”.

- “Le fil de fer” is a generic term for all steel wires, excepting cables.

- “Le fil” is just a fuzzy term.

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“2) i learned to say "donner/recevoir un coup de telephone" but i see that "un coup de fil" is used according to the dictionary. is this correct?”

“Donner un coup de fil” is : Calling somebody over phone.

“Recevoir un coup de fil” is : Being called by somebody over phone.

[ For memory : The letter P of “coup” is always silent but, on the contrary, is usefull and pronunced for “coupure”, “couper” ]

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“3) the dictionary also has these two:
au fil des années   over the years 
au fil du temps - over time, as time goes by”

Yes, both usages of “au fil de...” are correct.

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i would use "au cours." are the given examples correct?

- Au fil des heures : over time
- Au fil de l’eau : over water / run of river
- Au fil du vent : over wind
- Au fil des saisons : during the sequence of seasons
- Au fil des amours : when somebody lives a love story after other.

...and also, “au fur et à mesure” : This fixed expression is alike “au cours de...” but has the advantage to be generic.

- Au fur et à mesure du temps : during a time lapse
- Au fur et à mesure des saisons : during the sequence of seasons
- Au fur et à mesure du travail : during the work / the job
- Au fur et à mesure de la lecture : during the reading
- Au fur et à mesure du trajet : during the run
- Au fur et à mesure des événements : during events

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“4) the dictionary also says:
[+couteau]   (=tranchant)   edge
is "fil" used for "edge?" i learned that "tranche" is used.”

Yes, “le fil” written like "the edge" according to the dictionnary definition, is correct.

The main difference between “le tranchant” et “la tranche” is that “le tranchant” is the state of an object ( the invisible acute angle of a knife, for this case ), and the “la tranche” is a specific side/plan/face of an object ( meat washer, edge of furniture )

Hi,

1 :For "fil de fer barbelé", we just say "barbelé , for electrical wire we say "fil électrique" .

 

2: Yes , we mostly say "donner / recevoir un coup de fil" , "donner/recevoir un coup de telephone is correct too .

 

3: We don't say "au fil des années" , just "au fil du temps"

 

4:  edge is mostly "le bord" , and for a knife it's "la lame"

 

Cheers

 

 

Bonjour tout le monde, Bonjour Damien.

« 1 :For "fil de fer barbelé", we just say "barbelé" , for electrical wire we say "fil électrique" . »

Sorry Damien, but, it's right and wrong... Yes, French people say « fil électrique », but it's also possible to say « fil barbelé ». Just « barbelé » is according to a personal manner to do it. Like in English where I think that many people adjust a bit and use then grammar variants, it's sometimes the same case in French. So, it's a bit peremptory that to just say : « It's like this or like that »...

I think it's best to show correct rules without an absolutely strict sense. Ok, just one process is better to help over one way or one rule, but it's not necessary that to be too restrictive. Like in English, we have precise rules about spelling and grammar, but it must also to see all possibilities really used who are offered by the French language. It's like if, in English, it would be right to learn « I want » concerning the verb « to want » and putting under silence « I wanna » because it's not the very strick rule!

As I am learning English myself, I prefer to know that « I want » and « I wanna » exist, and I choose according to my mind... especially if these both possibilities are already accepted by everybody...

 

« 2: Yes , we mostly say "donner / recevoir un coup de fil" , "donner/recevoir un coup de telephone is correct too . »

For these examples, we are okay.

 

« 3: We don't say "au fil des années" , just "au fil du temps".  »

But, once again, why !? And, according to this position, what is the value about the fixed expression « au fil des ans » ? No, Damien, I am not agree with you. We don't strictly say in French « au fil du temps » instead of « au fil des années »...

 

« 4:  edge is mostly "le bord" , and for a knife it's "la lame". »

But, « la lame » isn't rather « the blade » ?

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PS : Just for fun ^^ : Today, I learned a new English word : « peremptory ». ( Its French equivalent is « péremptoire ». Definitions are identical. ) And for tomorrow, another word......

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