(Warning: swear words and sexual content are in this question).
Learning French is the first time I'm learning a new language; because of this, I don't have any appreciate of how I recognize (in English) what meaning to understand a word, when it has multiple meanings. So, now that I am experiencing words in French that have multiple meanings, I don't know how people distinguish between them.
Here are some words I have experienced this with:
(eg, "- Est-ce que tu veux de la glace? - Oui, j'aime assez la glace";
does it mean "Yes, I like ice cream enough [but not a great deal, so don't give me too much]",
or "Yes, I quite like ice cream! [so give me plenty, please!]")
(eg, "Désolé, je suis toujours malade";
does it mean "Sorry, I'm still sick", or "Sorry, I'm always sick")
And now I just discovered a new ambiguous word as I'm reading a [erotic fiction] short story:
- "Je rentrais du tennis. Comme d'habitude, après une bonne heure intense, je suis assez chaud et j'ai envie de baiser mon copain"; does he want to kiss his friend, or fuck his friend? Both meanings make sense in this context.
My general question is "How does a person distinguish between meanings, when a word has more than one?". In each of these examples, context alone does not seem sufficient. Is this a case where some meanings are just more used than others, but you would have to be immersed in the culture to understand which is more often used? Are there reference resources that can help me understand?
A comment indicated that "Désolé, je suis toujours malade" probably does not mean "Sorry, I am always sick", because tout le temps would more commonly be used to express that meaning; thus, context is not the only thing a person uses to distinguish meaning.
Is there a reference that would help me look up information such as "toujours" rarely meaning "still", or tell me how words (and phrases) are usually used, unlike a dictionary which lists all meanings of a word without indicating how often they are typically used?