What is the difference between “lieu” and “endroit”? I know both of them mean place, so what exactly is the difference? Please use examples in your answers.

  • Please make sure to read the help pages (on topic questions and how to ask, and how to answer). What research have you done, what dictionary have you looked at (Larousse: endroit, lieu; you may also try Collins, and TLFi) and what did you not understand? Thank you!
    – user3177
    Dec 24 '15 at 7:31

Usually when I say 'lieu', it is like the english 'location', and 'endroit' is like 'spot'. so:

Le lieu est les Caraïbes.

Vas-tu me rencontrer à cet endroit?

I would say 'lieu' is more broad, it's not very specific. I also think it's more formal, I hear it more on the news, than I hear people saying it in real life. Endroit is like 'spot', or area.

I would say the BIGGEST difference is that lieu is not very commonly used in speech, and endroit is more familiar language.


Lieu as a spot is not used a lot in speech, sometimes in formal situations (news, speeches, ...)

Lieu is rather well-known because used in many expressions:

  • en lieu sûr

  • cela n'a pas lieu (cela n'arrive pas)

  • cela donne lieu (cela entraîne)

  • il y a lieu de faire cela (il faut faire cela)

  • au lieu de faire cela (à la place de faire cela)

  • en dernier lieu (comme dernière solution)

et lieu-dit, non-lieu, lieu commun

à ne pas confondre avec lieue (distance)

  • à dix lieues de là, ou à des lieues de là (très loin)

  • des bottes de 7 lieues (le petit poucet)



The site above should be helpful

  • Link-only answers are useless if the linked site is not accessible. Please summarise the relevant content in your answer and only provide links as references. Dec 24 '15 at 10:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.