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warm up

Anna K.B2Kwiziq community member

warm up

Can somebody please explaine me the difference between 



and chauffer

I cannot get it. Thank you

Asked 3 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Anna, 

Firstly in the text it is the reflexive verb 


which is used and it means, 'to warm up' before physical exercising:

Je m'échaufferai sur le tapis roulant... = I'll warm up on the treadmill

To warm up food you will use 'réchauffer' ( transitive verb)

Je vais réchauffer ma ratatouille avant de la manger = I am going to warm up my ratatouille before I eat it

Chauffer / is to heat up ( intransitive ) 

Le moteur chauffe = The engine is overheating

Ça chauffe ! = Things are getting heated! ( figurative)

Faire chauffer / mettre à chauffer is to heat up something ( transitive)

J'ai mis de l'eau à chauffer = I put water to heat up ( on the stove) or to put the kettle on

Je fais chauffer des bocaux pour ma confiture = I am heating up some jars for my jam

ian L.C1Kwiziq community member

I think chauffer is the basic word for 'to heat' or warm, linked to the adjective 'chaud', rechauffer fundamentally means 're-heat', but can be used for 'to warm up',  then échauffer is the more extreme 'fire-up' or 'over-heat'.

Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I am not sure the following is correct, but it represents the best understanding of the differences I can deduce at present. There are definitely examples to be found where the distinction (especially between chauffer and échauffer) is not clear to me:

Chauffer - Warm/heat something for the 'first' time (not necessarily first time ever - eg warming up a car for the first time in the morning «faire chauffer sa voiture»), usually intentionally and usually involving an external heat source

Réchauffer - Rewarm or reheat, usually intentionally and usually with an external heat source

Échauffer - Warming up without specifically using an external heat source (eg warm-up for exercise - s'échauffer) or unintentionally (eg machine motor warming up/overheating). 

I have seen échauffer used for global warming along similar lines I believe - it is unintentional and not resulting from the introduction of any new external heat source.

échauffer is also used figuratively for raising emotional states etc as 'heating the argument', 'inflaming' etc are in English. 

Would be pleased if anyone can clarify further.

warm up

Can somebody please explaine me the difference between 



and chauffer

I cannot get it. Thank you

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