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What word in French would you use for attend, in the sense "attend the class"? Attendre seems to mean to wait; dictionary offers:

visiter
fréquenter
hanter
s'approcher

but I guess only some of them are normally used in this context?

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2  
Related, but different: french.stackexchange.com/questions/4528/… –  Stéphane Gimenez Jun 6 '13 at 13:55
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4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I would have used none of them. To be exact, my usual translation of “to attend a class” is “assister à un cours”.

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strange... in the dictionary, I find that assister means to help or support. But true, google translate offers the same. Thanks! –  Tomas Jun 6 '13 at 13:56
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@Tomas You're right, to help/support is the first meaning of the word. I can only suggest wordreference as a better reference though. –  Caramel Truffle Jun 6 '13 at 14:02
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@Tomas Assister has different meanings. –  Zistoloen Jun 6 '13 at 14:04
    
Thank you for the note! –  Tomas Jun 6 '13 at 14:10
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@Tomas, "assister à qqch" means attend something or be present when something occurs, "assister qqun" mean help or support someone. –  Un francophone Jun 6 '13 at 15:41
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You could also use the word suivre.

Twice a week she attends French classes. Deux fois par semaines elle suit des cours de français.

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thanks, yes, this is also the second option google translate has offered (after assister)! –  Tomas Jun 6 '13 at 15:33
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In the context of an active attendance, participer is suitable.

I will attend this meeting. Je participerai à cette réunion.

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As for the future tense, I've heard it is not used much in spoken word. So isn't it more common to say Je vais participer à cette réunion? –  Tomas Jun 7 '13 at 9:21
    
I see you live in Paris, are you a native speaker? Sorry for this question, but there's no other way of getting the information. I think for the purpose of this site the native language information of a user should be available the profile. –  Tomas Jun 7 '13 at 9:24
    
"Je participerai" is a (little) bit more formal than "je vais participer" but you can use it when speaking. I do, actually :) –  Shlublu Jun 7 '13 at 9:26
    
I'm just discovering your second comment. Yes, I am french. "Français 2nde langue", in my profile, is just a joke. And you are absolutely right, the native language information is more than useful. The location too. –  Shlublu Jun 7 '13 at 9:28
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To follow up on the 3 "correct" answers, there are some differences in the 3 proposed translations

  • assister à un cours : you are going to attend the class at a specific date. It not mean that you are attending the class for a whole semester.

  • suivre un cours : here you are attending the class which lasts for several sessions

  • participer à un cours / prendre part à un cours : as @Shlublu noted, active attendance is implied. Nothing implied about the number of sessions.

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Then you make it a fourth good answer.... +1 to all! –  Romain VALERI Jun 9 '13 at 11:05
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