couvrir / recouvrir


First of all hello, I am new here :D

as for my question,
i saw this sentence:
"Ce modèle, fabriqué en 10 exemplaires,est recouvert d'or 18 carats et dispose de la signature de Paul Mercer sur le dos"

i thought it should be couvert ?!, if some one could be kind enough to
tell me what is the different between the two

  • Tonton Christian

    Senior Member
    French Belgium
    Je cite le petit Larousse illustré:
    V.T. (transitive verb) 1. Pourvoir d'une couverture, d'un élément protecteur. 2. Refaire à neuf les parties en tissu ou en cuir d'un siège. 3. Couvrir entièrement. La neige recouvre la plaine. 4. Correspondre exactement, se superposer, s'appliquer à. Cette réalisation recouvre les deux projets.

    Punky Zoé

    Senior Member
    France - français
    I think recouvrir est dans ce cas couvrir totalement, en totalité l'objet. Couvrir aurait pu ne concerner qu'une face (only one side) de l'objet.


    tnx, i also checked the dictionary and i can't understand the diffrent
    between recouvrir and couverir.

    i thought that the sentence should be <est couvert d'or 18 carats>
    or did they meant that it was recoverd with gold, or something like that



    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    This topic was discussed a bit in this thread... where perhaps this post is the best summary:

    here is an explanation in French of recouvrir. Recouvrir has two meanings, one is to say that "you cover again, you add a layer on something", like if you cover a book with a plastic film to avoid that you damage the book cover. On an other hand, recouvrir has a meaning of "complete cover", like for instance the snow which can cover all the surface when it's falling.


    Senior Member
    Français France
    The word "couvert" means something on another one, but different things.
    In this example, the gold and the piece are nearly the same after the coat, so we use "recouvert" and not "couvert".


    English - Canada

    I think I understand the difference between couvrir and recouvrir from the explanations above, but I have a particular example I am unsure about:

    Les papiers couvrent le plancher entier./Les papiers recouvrent le plancher entier.

    (The papers cover the entire/whole floor).

    If a sentence already has “entier” with the noun, would you still use “recouvrir,” or would that be superfluous and it would be better to just use “couvrir” in this case?

    Thank you.