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The 5th Day of Christmas

Le cinquième jour de Noël, mon amour m’a donné : cinq anneaux d’or…

(On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five gold rings…)


The line you’ve all been waiting for.

Oh what’s that? A helium balloon? Oh go on then…

Le cinquième jour - The Twelve Days of Christmas in French

cinq anneaux d’or
(five gold rings)

You sang it, didn’t you? Admit it! This lo-ong stre-eeetched o-ut li-iine. Well, it’s not just a melodic crowd-pleaser, this line is Christmas choc(k)-full of lessons!

1. un anneau versus une bague. Both of these words mean “ring”, but anneau is more general. If it’s a jewelry ring that has a stone set in it, however, it’s called une bague. Lord of the Rings, in France, was called Le Seigneur des anneaux because there were no diamonds set in the rings of power. (This film is going to prove useful again later on when we come to “lords a-leaping,” methinks). Note how the plural of anneau gets an -x suffix, just like gâteau.

2. or / doré / en or / d’or – gold / golden / made of gold. Colours can be a bit tricky when they’re also materials. In English we use “golden” (the colour) and “gold” almost interchangeably. In French, or refers to the metal and we need to describe the rings as being made of gold, rather than “golden”. Therefore, anneaux d’or or bagues en or are both acceptable.

More: 4th Day | The 12 Days of Christmas | 6th Day

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Author info

Gruff Davies

Despite the very Welsh name, Gruff is actually half French. Nowadays, he's a tech entrepreneur (and some-time novelist) but he used to be a physicist at Imperial College before getting hooked on inventing things. He has a special interest in language learning, speaks five languages to varying degrees of fluency and he often blogs about language learning, science, and technology. As well as co-founding Kwiziq, he is the author the Amazon best-selling SF thriller, The Looking Glass Club and the inventor of the Exertris gaming exercise-bike and Pidgin, a free online tool that makes drawing flow charts and relationship diagrams as quick and easy as describing them in pidgin English.

Laura K Lawless

Laura is Kwiziq's Language and Marketing Coordinator. Online educator since '99, Laura is passionate about language, travel, and cooking. She's American by birth and a permanent ex-pat by choice - freelancing made it possible for her to travel extensively and live in several countries before settling permanently in Guadeloupe. Laura is the author of Lawless French, Lawless Spanish, and other websites and books on French, Spanish, English, and vegetarianism. She spends most of her spare time reading, playing with food, and enjoying water sports.

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