English : tete-a-tete





What is the meaning of tete-a-tete ? How do you pronounce the word?

By Mrs. Donald, Argentina – 4th June 2007.

While the first
e in tete is pronounced like the ay in bay, say and gay, the second one is silent. The word rhymes with the words date, late and hate. In some American dictionaries, however, the word rhymes with set, bet and get. The following a is like the a in bath, calf and path. Some people however pronounce the a like the a in china and amount. The main stress is on the second tete.

When you have a tete-a-tete with someone, you have a private conversation with him/her. It usually involves an intimate conversation between two people. You know what they say, Two is company and three is a crowd. The word is French in origin. The first
e of tete and the a have accent marks on them.

Here are a few examples.

• Braj and Yamuna had a cosy tete-a-tete after the interview.

• I understand they had a romantic tete-a-tete after dinner.



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