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


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


4 Answers 4


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

  • strange... in the dictionary, I find that assister means to help or support. But true, google translate offers the same. Thanks!
    – Tomas
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 13:56
  • 1
    @Tomas You're right, to help/support is the first meaning of the word. I can only suggest wordreference as a better reference though. Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 14:02
  • 4
    @Tomas Assister has different meanings.
    – Zistoloen
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 14:04
  • 3
    @Tomas, "assister à qqch" means attend something or be present when something occurs, "assister qqun" mean help or support someone. Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 15:41

You could also use the word suivre.

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


In the context of an active attendance, participer is suitable.

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

  • 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
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 9:28

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.

  • Then you make it a fourth good answer.... +1 to all! Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 11:05

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