How Do You Say “They Realized” In French?

As language enthusiasts, we are always on the lookout to learn new phrases and expressions in different languages. French, being one of the most beautiful and romantic languages in the world, attracts many language learners who wish to master it. In this article, we will explore a common phrase in French that you might come across in your French learning journey.

The phrase we will be discussing is “they realized”. In French, the translation for this phrase is “ils ont réalisé”.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “They Realized”?

Learning to properly pronounce French words can seem daunting, but with a little guidance, it can be a breeze. One common phrase that you may encounter in French is “they realized.” Here’s how to pronounce it correctly:

Phonetic Breakdown

The French word for “they realized” is “ils ont réalisé.” Here is the phonetic breakdown of the phrase:

French Phonetic
ils eel
ont oh
réalisé ray-ah-lee-zay

Tips For Pronunciation

Now that you know the phonetic breakdown of the phrase, here are some tips to help you pronounce it correctly:

  • Focus on pronouncing each syllable clearly.
  • Practice saying the phrase slowly at first, then gradually speed up.
  • Listen to native French speakers pronounce the phrase to get a feel for the correct pronunciation.
  • Pay attention to the stress on each syllable. In “ils ont réalisé,” the stress is on the second syllable of “réalisé.”

With a little practice and these helpful tips, you’ll be able to confidently pronounce the French phrase for “they realized.”

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “They Realized”

Grammar is an essential aspect of any language, and French is no exception. Proper use of the French word for “they realized” is crucial for effective communication. This section will explore the correct grammatical use of the French word for “they realized.”

Placement In Sentences

The French word for “they realized” is “ils ont réalisé.” In a sentence, this phrase typically follows the subject and precedes the verb. For example:

  • Ils ont réalisé leur erreur. (They realized their mistake.)
  • Ils ont réalisé qu’ils étaient en retard. (They realized they were late.)

It is important to note that in French, the subject pronoun is often omitted in the second example above. This is because the verb “ont réalisé” already indicates that the subject is “ils.”

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The French word for “they realized” is a compound verb made up of the auxiliary verb “avoir” (to have) and the past participle “réalisé” (realized). As a result, the verb needs to be conjugated appropriately according to the subject pronoun and tense being used.

For example, in the present tense:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Ils/Elles ont réalisé

In the past tense:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Ils/Elles avaient réalisé

Agreement With Gender And Number

The French language requires agreement between the subject and the verb, including gender and number. In the case of “ils ont réalisé,” the verb agrees with the masculine plural subject pronoun “ils.” If the subject were feminine and plural, the verb would be “elles ont réalisé.”

Common Exceptions

One common exception in the use of “ils ont réalisé” is when the subject is a group of mixed genders. In this case, the masculine plural form is used regardless of the gender makeup of the group. For example:

  • Les étudiants ont réalisé leur potentiel. (The students realized their potential.)

Another exception occurs when the verb “réaliser” is used in a reflexive form. In this case, the verb must agree with the subject pronoun and be conjugated reflexively. For example:

  • Ils se sont réalisés dans leur travail. (They realized themselves in their work.)

Overall, proper grammatical use of the French word for “they realized” is essential for effective communication in the language. By understanding its placement in sentences, verb conjugations and tenses, agreement with gender and number, and common exceptions, you can improve your French language skills and avoid common mistakes.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “They Realized”

Learning French can be a challenge, especially when it comes to understanding the different verb tenses and conjugations. One essential verb tense to learn is the passe compose, which is used to talk about completed actions in the past. One common verb used in the passe compose is “realiser,” which means “to realize” in English. Here are some examples of phrases using the French word for “they realized.”

Examples And Usage

  • “Ils ont réalisé leur erreur” – They realized their mistake.
  • “Nous avons réalisé notre rêve” – We realized our dream.
  • “Elles ont réalisé que c’était vrai” – They realized that it was true.
  • “J’ai réalisé que j’avais oublié mon téléphone” – I realized that I had forgotten my phone.
  • “Tu as réalisé un excellent travail” – You realized an excellent job.

As you can see, “realiser” is a versatile verb that can be used in many different contexts. It can be used to talk about realizing a dream, realizing a mistake, or even realizing a truth. The verb is always conjugated based on the subject, which means that “ont” is used with “ils” and “ont” is used with “elles.”

Example Dialogue

French English
“Est-ce que tu as réalisé que c’était ton anniversaire demain?” “Did you realize that it’s your birthday tomorrow?”
“Oui, j’ai réalisé hier soir.” “Yes, I realized last night.”
“Ils ont réalisé qu’ils avaient oublié leur clé.” “They realized that they had forgotten their key.”
“Elles ont réalisé leur rêve de devenir chanteuses.” “They realized their dream of becoming singers.”

The above dialogue examples demonstrate how “realiser” can be used in everyday conversations. Whether you’re talking about forgetting a key or achieving a lifelong dream, this verb can help you express yourself clearly and accurately in French.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “They Realized”

Understanding the different contexts in which the French word for “they realized” is used is crucial to mastering the language. Here, we will explore the various contexts in which the word is used, from formal to informal, and even slang and idiomatic expressions.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as academic or professional environments, the French word for “they realized” is typically used in its most basic form: “ils ont réalisé.” This form is appropriate for situations where a formal tone is required, such as in a business meeting or a research paper.

Informal Usage

Informal usage of the French word for “they realized” can vary depending on the situation and the speaker. In casual conversation, a common way of saying “they realized” is “ils ont compris” (they understood). This form is less formal and can be used among friends or in everyday situations.

Other Contexts

French also has a rich history of slang and idiomatic expressions, many of which involve the concept of realization. For example, “j’ai pigé” (I got it) can be used to convey that someone has finally understood something. Another example is “j’ai capté” (I caught it), which has a similar meaning.

In addition to slang and idiomatic expressions, there are also cultural and historical uses of the French word for “they realized.” For example, in the context of the French Revolution, the phrase “les sans-culottes ont compris” (the sans-culottes understood) was used to refer to the common people who had finally realized their power and potential for change.

Popular Cultural Usage

One popular cultural usage of the French word for “they realized” can be found in the film “Amélie.” In a memorable scene, the narrator states “Amélie a compris quelque chose” (Amélie realized something) as the main character has an epiphany about her life and her purpose.

Context French Phrase for “They Realized”
Formal ils ont réalisé
Informal ils ont compris
Slang/Idiomatic Expressions j’ai pigé, j’ai capté
Cultural/Historical les sans-culottes ont compris
Popular Cultural Usage Amélie a compris quelque chose

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “They Realized”

French is spoken in many countries around the world, and like any language, it has regional variations. One area where this is evident is in the word for “they realized.” While the basic meaning of the word remains the same across different French-speaking countries, there are variations in how it is used and pronounced.

Variations In Usage

In France, the word for “they realized” is “ils ont réalisé.” This is the most common way to express this idea in French, and it is the form you are most likely to encounter in textbooks and language courses.

However, in other French-speaking countries, different forms of the verb “realized” may be used. For example, in Canada, the word “réalisé” is often replaced with “compris,” which means “understood.” So instead of saying “ils ont réalisé,” a French speaker from Canada might say “ils ont compris.”

In some parts of Africa, the word “compris” is also used, but it may be combined with a different pronoun. For example, in Cameroon, you might hear someone say “ils ont compris ça” to mean “they realized that.”

Variations In Pronunciation

Just as there are variations in how the word for “they realized” is used, there are also differences in pronunciation. In France, the “r” sound is often pronounced with a guttural sound, while in Quebec, the “r” is more of a rolling sound. In some parts of Africa, the “r” sound may be pronounced differently altogether.

Another area where there may be regional differences is in the way the “é” sound is pronounced. In France, this sound is often pronounced with a closed mouth, while in other countries, it may be pronounced with a more open mouth.


While the word for “they realized” is relatively consistent across different French-speaking countries, there are variations in how it is used and pronounced. These regional differences add richness and diversity to the French language, and they are an important part of what makes French such a fascinating language to learn and study.

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

While the French word for “they realized” typically refers to the act of becoming aware of something, it can also have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It is important to understand these different uses in order to accurately interpret and express oneself in French.

Distinguishing Between Different Uses Of “They Realized”

Here are some of the different ways in which the French word for “they realized” can be used, along with tips on how to distinguish between them:

  • To acknowledge: In some cases, “they realized” can be used to acknowledge someone or something. For example, “ils ont réalisé un grand exploit” means “they achieved a great feat.” In this context, “they realized” is not referring to becoming aware of something, but rather recognizing or acknowledging something.
  • To create: Another use of “they realized” is to indicate the act of creating or bringing something into existence. For example, “ils ont réalisé un film” means “they made a movie.” In this context, “they realized” means to bring something to fruition or make it a reality.
  • To achieve: “They realized” can also be used to mean achieving or fulfilling something. For example, “ils ont réalisé leur rêve” means “they fulfilled their dream.” In this context, “they realized” means to accomplish or achieve something.

When encountering the French word for “they realized,” it is important to pay attention to the context in which it is used in order to accurately interpret its meaning. By understanding the different uses of this phrase, one can better express themselves and understand others in French-speaking contexts.

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

Synonyms And Related Terms

There are several common words and phrases in French that are similar to “they realized”. One of the most commonly used is “ils ont compris”, which translates to “they understood”. This phrase is often used in situations where someone has had an epiphany or a sudden realization about something.

Another similar phrase is “ils ont pris conscience de”, which translates to “they became aware of”. This phrase is often used to describe a gradual realization or understanding of something that someone may have previously been unaware of.

Other phrases that are commonly used to express the idea of “they realized” include “ils se sont rendu compte de” (they realized that), “ils ont découvert que” (they discovered that), and “ils ont appris que” (they learned that).

Differences And Similarities In Usage

While these phrases all express the idea of “they realized”, they are used in slightly different ways. For example, “ils ont compris” is generally used to describe a sudden realization or understanding, while “ils ont pris conscience de” is used to describe a more gradual understanding.

Similarly, “ils se sont rendu compte de” is often used to describe a realization that someone has come to on their own, while “ils ont découvert que” and “ils ont appris que” are used to describe a realization that has been brought to their attention by someone else.


Antonyms for “they realized” in French include phrases such as “ils n’ont pas compris” (they didn’t understand) and “ils n’ont pas réalisé que” (they didn’t realize that). These phrases are used to describe situations where someone may have missed an important detail or failed to grasp a concept.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “They Realized”

As with any language, French has its own set of quirks and nuances that can trip up non-native speakers. One of the trickier words to get right is the French word for “they realized.” Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

1. Confusing “Réaliser” With “Se Rendre Compte”

One of the most common mistakes made by non-native speakers is confusing “réaliser” with “se rendre compte.” While both of these phrases can be translated to “they realized,” they are used in different contexts.

  • “Réaliser” is used when someone achieves or completes something, such as a project or a goal. For example, “Ils ont réalisé leur rêve” means “They achieved their dream.”
  • “Se rendre compte” is used when someone becomes aware of something, such as a fact or a situation. For example, “Ils se sont rendu compte de leur erreur” means “They realized their mistake.”

To avoid confusion, make sure you understand the context in which “they realized” is being used before using either of these phrases.

2. Using The Wrong Verb Tense

Another common mistake is using the wrong verb tense when using “réaliser.” The verb tense you use will depend on the context in which the word is being used.

Context Verb Tense Example
Past tense Passé composé Ils ont réalisé leur rêve
Present tense Présent Ils réalisent leur rêve
Future tense Futur simple Ils réaliseront leur rêve

Make sure you use the correct verb tense for the context in which you are using “réaliser.”

3. Mispronouncing The Word

Finally, it’s important to pronounce “réaliser” correctly. The word is pronounced “ray-ah-lee-zay,” with the stress on the second syllable.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can use the French word for “they realized” with confidence and accuracy.


In this blog post, we have discussed the various ways to say “they realized” in French. We explored the most common translation “ils ont réalisé,” which is a direct translation of the English phrase. Secondly, we looked at the alternative translations such as “ils ont compris” and “ils se sont rendu compte” which convey a similar meaning but are used in different contexts. Finally, we delved into the nuances of each phrase and how they can be used in different situations.

Encouragement To Practice And Use The French Word For They Realized In Real-life Conversations

Learning a new language can be challenging, but with practice and perseverance, it can be a rewarding experience. We encourage you to use the French word for “they realized” in your real-life conversations with French speakers. Not only will it help you improve your language skills, but it will also help you connect with the French culture and people on a deeper level.

Remember, language is not just about words and grammar, but also about culture and communication. By using the French word for “they realized,” you are showing respect for the French language and culture and demonstrating your willingness to learn and communicate effectively.

So, go ahead and practice using “ils ont réalisé,” “ils ont compris,” or “ils se sont rendu compte” in your conversations with French speakers. You may make mistakes, but that’s okay. Learning a language is a journey, not a destination. Keep practicing, keep learning, and keep exploring the beauty of the French language.

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”.