How Do You Say “Expectation” In French?

Learning a new language can be an exciting but daunting task. The French language, in particular, is known for its unique pronunciation and grammar rules. However, the rewards of being able to speak French are numerous, from being able to communicate with French speakers around the world to enjoying French literature and cinema. So, if you’re looking to expand your linguistic horizons, you’re in the right place.

The French translation for “expectation” is “attente”.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Expectation”?

If you’re learning French, it’s important to learn how to properly pronounce words. One word you might be curious about is “expectation,” or “attente” in French. Here’s how to pronounce it correctly:

Phonetic Breakdown

The phonetic spelling of “attente” is ah-tawn-tuh.

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you pronounce “attente” correctly:

  • The first syllable is pronounced with an “ah” sound, like the “a” in “father.”
  • The second syllable is pronounced with a “tawn” sound, like the “tawn” in “lawn.”
  • The final syllable is pronounced with a “tuh” sound, like the “tuh” in “but.”
  • Make sure to stress the second syllable, “tawn,” as it is the stressed syllable in the word.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to confidently pronounce “attente” in French.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Expectation”

When speaking or writing in French, proper grammar is essential to convey your message accurately and effectively. This is especially important when using the French word for “expectation,” as incorrect grammar can result in confusion or misunderstandings.

Placement Of The French Word For Expectation In Sentences

The French word for “expectation” is “attente.” It can be used as both a noun and a verb, depending on the context of the sentence. When used as a noun, “attente” typically follows a definite article or possessive adjective, as in “l’attente” (the expectation) or “ma attente” (my expectation).

When used as a verb, “attente” typically follows a subject pronoun and is conjugated accordingly. For example, “j’attends” (I am waiting) or “nous attendons” (we are waiting).

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

As mentioned above, “attente” can be used as a verb and conjugated accordingly. The present tense conjugations for “attendre” (to wait) are as follows:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Je attends
Tu attends
Il/Elle/On attend
Nous attendons
Vous attendez
Ils/Elles attendent

It’s important to note that the past participle of “attendre” is “attendu,” which may be used in compound tenses such as the passé composé.

Agreement With Gender And Number

Like many French nouns, “attente” must agree with the gender and number of the noun it refers to. For example, “une grande attente” (a great expectation) uses the feminine form of “attente” to agree with the feminine noun “grande.”

Common Exceptions

There are a few common exceptions to the rules outlined above. For example, when “attente” is used in the idiomatic expression “à l’attente de” (in anticipation of), it does not need to agree with the gender or number of the noun it refers to.

It’s also worth noting that in some cases, the French word for “hope,” “espoir,” may be used instead of “attente” to convey a similar meaning. However, the two words are not interchangeable in all contexts.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Expectation”

Expectation is a common concept that we use in our daily lives. Whether it is waiting for someone to arrive or anticipating the outcome of an event, we all have expectations. In French, the word for expectation is “attente”. Here are some common phrases that include the French word for expectation:

Phrases Using “Attente”

  • En attente de – “In expectation of”
  • Avec impatience et attente – “With impatience and expectation”
  • Attente anxieuse – “Anxious expectation”
  • Attente fébrile – “Feverish expectation”

Now, let’s take a look at how these phrases are used in sentences:

  • En attente de votre réponse, je reste à votre disposition. – “In expectation of” your response, I remain at your disposal.
  • Je regarde avec impatience et attente l’arrivée de mon ami. – I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my friend.
  • Le patient était dans une attente anxieuse des résultats de son examen médical. – The patient was anxiously waiting for the results of his medical examination.
  • Les supporters du club étaient en attente fébrile de la victoire de leur équipe. – The fans of the club were feverishly waiting for their team’s victory.

Finally, let’s see some example French dialogue using the French word for expectation:

French English Translation
Quelles sont tes attentes pour cette soirée? What are your expectations for tonight?
Je n’ai pas d’attentes particulières, juste passer un bon moment. I don’t have any specific expectations, just to have a good time.
Je comprends, mais j’ai quelques attentes pour cette soirée. I understand, but I have some expectations for tonight.
Je suis sûr que nous pourrons répondre à tes attentes. I’m sure we can meet your expectations.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Expectation”

Understanding the different contexts in which the French word for “expectation” is used is crucial to mastering the language. In this section, we will explore the various contexts in which this word is used.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as business meetings or academic conferences, the French word for “expectation” is used to convey a sense of anticipation or hope. For example, one might say, “Nous avons des attentes élevées pour ce projet” which translates to “We have high expectations for this project.”

Informal Usage

Informally, the word “expectation” in French can be used to describe one’s hopes or aspirations. For instance, someone might say, “J’ai des attentes élevées pour mes vacances cet été” which means “I have high expectations for my summer vacation.”

Other Contexts

In addition to formal and informal contexts, the French word for “expectation” can also be used in slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical contexts. For example, the phrase “avoir des attentes démesurées” means “to have unrealistic expectations” and is often used in casual conversation.

Another example of cultural usage is the phrase “attentes royales” which translates to “royal expectations” and is used to describe the high standards expected of someone in a position of power or authority.

Popular Cultural Usage

In popular culture, the French word for “expectation” has been used in various forms of media, such as books, movies, and television shows. One example is the French film “Les Choristes” in which the phrase “attentes élevées” is used to describe the expectations placed on the students of a strict boarding school.

Overall, understanding the various contexts in which the French word for “expectation” is used is essential for effective communication in both formal and informal settings.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Expectation”

French is spoken in many countries around the world, and as with any language, there are regional variations in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. The French word for “expectation” is no exception.

French-speaking Countries And Their Variations

The French word for “expectation” is “attente.” However, in different French-speaking countries, this word may be used differently. Here are some examples:

Country Word for “Expectation”
France Attente
Canada (Quebec) Expectative
Switzerland Erwartung
Belgium Verwachting
Senegal Attente
Haiti Atant

As you can see, the word for “expectation” can vary quite a bit depending on where you are in the French-speaking world. However, despite these regional differences, the meaning remains the same.

Regional Pronunciations

Not only do different countries use different words for “expectation,” but they may also pronounce the word differently. For example, in Quebec, the word “expectative” is pronounced with a long “a” sound, while in France, “attente” is pronounced with a short “a” sound.

Other regional variations in pronunciation may include differences in stress or intonation. For example, in some areas, the stress may be on the first syllable of the word, while in others, it may be on the second syllable.

Despite these differences, however, French speakers from different regions can generally understand each other without too much difficulty. This is because the differences in vocabulary and pronunciation are usually relatively minor, and the basic structure of the language remains the same.

Other Uses Of The French Word For “Expectation” In Speaking & Writing

While the French word “expectation” is most commonly used to refer to the anticipation of something, it can also have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It is important to be able to distinguish between these uses in order to effectively communicate in French.

Uses Of “Expectation” In French

Below are some of the different ways in which the French word for “expectation”, “attente”, can be used:

  • Anticipation: This is the most common use of “attente” and refers to the act of anticipating or waiting for something to happen. For example, “J’ai une attente élevée pour ce film” means “I have high expectations for this movie”.
  • Hope: “Attente” can also be used to express hope or a desire for something. For example, “J’ai l’attente que tu réussisses” means “I have the expectation that you will succeed”.
  • Delay: In some cases, “attente” can refer to a delay or waiting period. For example, “Je suis en attente d’une réponse” means “I am waiting for a response”.
  • Requirement: “Attente” can also be used to refer to a requirement or expectation that must be met. For example, “Il y a des attentes claires pour ce poste” means “There are clear expectations for this position”.

It is important to pay attention to the context in which “attente” is used in order to accurately interpret its meaning. In some cases, it may be necessary to ask for clarification or additional information in order to fully understand what is being communicated.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The French Word For “Expectation”

When trying to communicate with French speakers, it is important to know how to express the concept of “expectation” in their language. While the direct translation of “expectation” is “attente,” there are many other words and phrases that can convey a similar meaning.

Synonyms Or Related Terms

Here are some common words and phrases similar to the French word for “expectation”:

  • Anticipation: This word refers to the act of looking forward to something, and can be used in a similar context as “expectation.” For example, “I am filled with anticipation for the upcoming event.”
  • Esperance: This term can be translated to “hope” or “expectation,” and is often used in a more positive context. For example, “J’ai l’espoir que tout va bien se passer” (I have hope that everything will go well).
  • Prévision: This word can be translated to “forecast” or “prediction,” and is often used in a business or financial context. For example, “Les prévisions de vente pour le trimestre sont bonnes” (The sales forecast for the quarter is good).
  • Attente: As mentioned, this is the direct translation of “expectation.” It can be used in a similar context as the English word, such as “J’ai une grande attente pour ce projet” (I have high expectations for this project).

While these words and phrases can convey a similar meaning to “expectation,” it is important to note that they may be used differently in certain contexts.


On the other hand, there are also antonyms or words with opposite meanings to “expectation.” Here are some examples:

  • Surprise: This word refers to something unexpected or unforeseen, and is the opposite of an expectation. For example, “La surprise de voir mes amis était très agréable” (The surprise of seeing my friends was very pleasant).
  • Déception: This term can be translated to “disappointment,” and is often used when expectations are not met. For example, “J’ai ressenti une grande déception quand j’ai appris que je n’ai pas été sélectionné” (I felt a great disappointment when I learned that I was not selected).
  • Ignorer: This word means “to ignore” or “to be unaware of,” and is the opposite of “to expect.” For example, “Je n’ai pas été informé de cette réunion, donc je l’ai ignorée” (I was not informed about this meeting, so I ignored it).

Understanding these antonyms can also help to clarify the meaning of “expectation” in certain contexts.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Expectation”

French is a beautiful language, but it can be tricky to master. One particular word that non-native speakers often have trouble with is “expectation.” Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Using The Wrong Gender

In French, all nouns are either masculine or feminine. The word for “expectation” is “attente,” which is feminine. However, many non-native speakers make the mistake of using the masculine form, “attent.” This is incorrect and will immediately identify you as a non-native speaker.

Tips to avoid:

  • Remember that “attente” is feminine.
  • If in doubt, use a French dictionary or online translator to check the gender of the word.

Mistake #2: Mispronouncing The Word

French pronunciation can be difficult, especially for non-native speakers. The word “attente” is pronounced “ah-tahnt,” with the stress on the second syllable. Many non-native speakers mispronounce the word, which can lead to confusion or misunderstanding.

Tips to avoid:

  • Practice the pronunciation of “attente” until you feel comfortable with it.
  • Listen to native French speakers pronounce the word to get a better idea of the correct pronunciation.

Mistake #3: Using The Wrong Context

The word “attente” can be used in a variety of contexts, including waiting for something or someone, or having an expectation or hope for something. However, non-native speakers often use the word in the wrong context, which can lead to confusion or misunderstanding.

Tips to avoid:

  • Learn the different contexts in which “attente” can be used.
  • Pay attention to how native French speakers use the word in different situations.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your French language skills and communicate more effectively with native speakers. Remember to always practice and learn from your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways in which expectation can be expressed in French. We discussed the different nuances of each term and how they can be used in different contexts. Here is a quick recap of the key points we covered:

  • The most common French word for expectation is “attente,” which can be used in various contexts such as waiting for someone or something, or anticipating a particular outcome.
  • Another term for expectation is “espoir,” which is more closely related to hope or optimism. It can be used to express the desire for a positive outcome.
  • Finally, we explored the word “expectative,” which is a more formal term for expectation and is commonly used in legal or academic contexts.

Now that you are familiar with the different ways of expressing expectation in French, we encourage you to practice using these words in real-life conversations. Whether you are in a formal or informal setting, using these terms will help you convey your thoughts more precisely and accurately. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as learning a new language is a process. Keep practicing, and you’ll soon find that expressing yourself in French comes more naturally!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.