passer = to pass (a location)

then why does:

passer mes examens = to sit/take/do my tests

see https://www.linguee.com/french-english/translation/passer+mes+examens.html

1 Answer 1


In this context passer and pass are false cognates (faux amis). The pair is a very basic one as user @Lambie remarks.

passer ses examens = to sit/take/do his/her exams


Réussir ses examens = to pass his/her exams.

See, e.g.



Google 'passer un examen false cognates'.

See also the question

How to say "I am taking an exam" in French?


Se passer de etc. is not relevant here (thanks @Lambie)

  • 1
    Yes, and this is a very basic false friend.
    – Lambie
    Nov 1, 2020 at 15:53
  • @Lambie Thanks for the verification:-)!
    – Dimitris
    Nov 1, 2020 at 15:57
  • @user716881 I suggest that you post a new question for 'se passer'.
    – Dimitris
    Nov 1, 2020 at 16:00
  • 1
    @Dimitris I found a question french.stackexchange.com/questions/8720/…
    – user716881
    Nov 1, 2020 at 16:04
  • @user716881 Bravo. If you have queries don't hesitate to ask a question about se passer. Even if there is an old post, both the question and the answer are in French.
    – Dimitris
    Nov 1, 2020 at 16:07

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