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I would be most grateful to get a good translation of  a home "driveway."  The best I can come up with is une allée, but that doesn't seem satisfactory. Thanks in advance,  Michou

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I think it's common to refer to l'entrée du garage for what effectively amounts to the "drive(way)" in English.

Yes, it is. But, as I undestand it, a driveway can be rather long, can't it? And "l'entrée du garage" is, at least for me, just the place in front of the garage.

I can't think of an exact translation. For example, to go to my godmother's house, there is, I think, a driveway:  a very small road that only leads to a few houses (all of them with a garage, I think). Do I get it correctly? Because in this particular case, I've only ever heard or said "la route" or "le chemin" (I think an "allée" would maybe be used if it was a single, bigger house, like a castle or something similar).

Hi Christine -- I think, at least in English, a "drive" or "driveway" would usually belong to a single house and be the part leading up to the garage or place where the car is parked.

But in principle, I suppose it could be a "shared driveway" belonging to several houses.

And yes, it could be a longer driveway that maybe would be more likely to be a "chemin" in French -- I'm thinking of some of the houses with large plots of land that you get in rural areas of France, for example, where you do indeed have a veritable "chemin" leading up to the house -- I think this would still generally be called a "drive(way)" in English.

So it would probably also lead to / near the house? Since you've got to get to the house from the garage?

Merci, Christine...Faute de mieux, I use une allée, but it is not specific enough. My French family and friends don't seem to be bothered by not being able to come up with an appropriate word or phrase, but it's driving me crazy. Michou

No problem :-)

You could always ask them (your friends and family) if they'd use another word for it (if you didn't already), but I see why you'd feel frustrated with this. It's very annoying when you're used to a very precise word or form to describe what you want, and it doesn't exist in another language. (And also disconcerting when you discover a specific form that doesn't exist in your language!)

I just e-mailed George saying that I would use " Une voie privée" but I think  like "un chemin privé" better for a small private house.  Un grand, grand merci!  Michou  

There are one or two old discussions on the subject in other forums  .Here is one with quite a bit of input..

It suggests "allée de garage" as one possibility and their dictionary translates the phrase as

allée de garage n (voie menant au garage) driveway

Merci, George...Une allée de garage sounds ok if there is a garage, which is often not the case.  It was good to read your link, but I am back where I started.  I think I will use "une voie privee".   Although that sounds a bit stilted to me it sounds better than "une allee"to me.    One source lists "une voie de garage" although I have never heard that term actually used.  

Maybe "un chemin privé"? It sounds a bit less formal to me.

I've never heard "voie de garage" used for this (though it might, I don't have a lot of experience with driveways!), but more to say that you're going nowhere - usually as a derogatory expression for a cursus or a job that leads in a dead end.

I am just thrilled to have found this site.   You have all been so helpful...merci.  Michou


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