proposer vs. to propose

The academic meanings of the French and English words “proposer” and “to propose” are quite similar.

For example:

  • To put forward a plan or proposal: The committee proposed a new agreement. → Le comité a proposé un nouvel accord. 
  • We proposed Ms Smith as Chair / Chairperson / Chairwoman. → Nous avons proposé Mme Smith en tant que Présidente.

However, note the difference in non-academic use:

  • Je lui ai proposé d’aller boire un café. 

Native English speakers will replace “proposer” by ask → I asked him out for coffee.

If we want to be more articulate, we might say, “I invited him for a coffee. / I suggested we meet over a coffee. / I offered to take him out for a coffee. ”

Other examples using ask:

  • I asked my in-laws to dinner.
  • I asked her round for a drink.
  • He’d like to ask her out, but she is elusive and he never manages to catch her.

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