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A pedestrian walking eastward in Montréal crossed the street. Although he had the right of way, a car making a turn at the intersection attempted to cut him off. Angry, the pedestrian yelled at the driver of the car:

Mange d’la marde!

When the pedestrian reached the other side, he crossed the street yet again, this time heading south. That’s when another car passed in front of him, even though he again had the right of way. The pedestrian also yelled at this second driver:

Enweille, épaisse!!

As he yelled it, he motioned with his arms for the driver to get out of his way.

In the first quote, as you may have guessed, the expression manger de la marde means to eat shit.

In the second quote, enweille! is used to tell the driver to get a move on, as in move it!, come on! Épais, and the feminine form épaisse, are used in Québec to call someone an idiot.

Mange d’la marde!
Eat shit!

Enweille, épaisse!!
Move it, you idiot!!

Where does enweille! come from? Enweille! is an imperative form, deriving from the verb envoyer. It’s a colloquial pronunciation of envoye!, and you’ll sometimes see it spelled like that too in literature, in the dialogue of a character. In informal writing, you’ll see different variations: enweille!, anweille!, awèye!, etc.

As an adjective, épais means thick. In colloquial language, épais can also be used as an adjective or noun in the sense of idiot.

T’es ben épaisse de dire ça.
You’re such an idiot for saying that.

(T’es is a contraction of tu es; it sounds like té. Ben is a contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain and means very here. You can learn about high-frequency contracted forms used in colloquial Québécois French with OffQc’s Contracted French ebook and audio.)

Here are 7 statements in French. Can you turn them into yes-no questions in an informal style like the Québécois do using tu?

Example: C’est bon. -> C’est-tu bon?

Apply any possible colloquial contractions. The answers come after the image.

1. C’est fini. It’s finished.
2. Ça vous tente. You [pl.] want to.
3. Il en reste. There’s some left.
4. Il est parti. He left.
5. Tu as gagné. You won.
6. Ça se peut. That’s possible.
7. Je peux. I can.

Answers

1. C’est-tu fini? Is it finished?
2. Ça vous tente-tu? Do you [pl.] want to?
3. Y’en reste-tu? Is there any left?
4. Y’est-tu parti? Did he leave?
5. T’as-tu gagné? Did you win?
6. Ça s’peut-tu? Is that possible?
7. J’peux-tu? Can I? (j’peux sounds like chpeu)

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Learn how words contract in spoken, colloquial Québécois French (with audio): read Contracted French

I was asked to explain the difference between the French equivalents of to be bored and to miss (someone), using the verb s’ennuyer.

Je m’ennuie means I’m bored.
Je m’ennuie au travail. I’m bored at work.
Je m’ennuie avec elle. I’m bored (when I’m) with her.

If you put de after s’ennuyer, you get the expression to miss (someone).

Je m’ennuie de toi means I miss you.
Je m’ennuie de vous autres. I miss you guys.
Je m’ennuie de Québec. I miss Québec City.

I was also asked about the adjective plate in relation to all of this:

If something bores you, you can describe it as being plate in informal language.

T’es plate! You’re no fun! You’re boring!
C’est plate! This is boring!
C’est ben plate à soir! Things are so boring tonight! (Ben means very and sounds like the French word bain; it’s a contracted form of bien.)
J’ai une job plate de bureau. I’ve got a boring office job.

Note: plate means boring, not bored. So if you’re bored, don’t describe yourself as plate. It’s the thing that causes the boredom that’s plate.

An important Québécois usage related to shopping for food is the French equivalent of to go food shopping.

In French, this is faire son épicerie.

Je viens de faire mon épicerie.
I’ve just gone food shopping.

When you go food shopping, you push your items about in a wheeled shopping cart. This is called un panier in Québec.

The term in full is panier d’épicerie, but panier on its own is fine when it’s clear what you’re talking about.

Certain places may require you to put a coin in the cart to unlock it.

Ça prend une piasse pour débarrer le panier.
You need a loonie to unlock the cart.

If you’ve got no change, you might say:

J’ai pas d’change sur moi!
I’ve got no change on me!

Du change is often used in place of de la monnaie.

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The OffQc guide 1000 Québécois French will help you to increase your vocabulary and knowledge of essential, everyday expressions. It’s a condensed version of the first 1000 posts on OffQc; you can use it to become acquainted with the most important Québécois French vocabulary and expressions for the first time, or to review a large amount of material in less time.

Two women shopping together in a shop were ready to pay for their items. One of the women approached a cashier; because that cashier didn’t appear to be receiving customers at the moment, the woman asked her in French an equivalent of can we pay here?

To ask the question, the woman used the verb passer. This verb is often used when talking about paying at the cash. For example, you’ll hear cashiers say passez ici!, which is an equivalent of next, please! In some stores, an automated system will tell you to proceed to the next available cash by saying something like passez à la caisse 5, meaning proceed to cashier 5.

Here’s how the woman asked her question:

On peut-tu passer ici?
Can we pay here?
(literally, can we pass here?)

On peut-tu means the same thing as est-ce qu’on peut. The tu here turns on peut into a yes-no question. It doesn’t mean you.

On peut.
On peut-tu?

We can.
Can we?

On peut savoir pourquoi.
On peut-tu savoir pourquoi?
On peut-tu savoir pourquoi t’es jamais revenu?

We can know why.
Can we know why?
Can we know why (can you tell us why) you never came back?

On peut passer ici.
On peut-tu passer ici?

We can go through here.
Can we go through (can we pay) here?

Listen to the way the Québécois pronounce passer and its conjugated forms. You can hear Korine Côté pronounce the conjugated form passe in this video from the Listen to Québécois French section. It comes in at 0:54.

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The OffQc guide 1000 Québécois French will help you to increase your vocabulary and knowledge of essential, everyday expressions. It’s a condensed version of the first 1000 posts on OffQc; you can use it to become acquainted with the most important Québécois French vocabulary and expressions for the first time, or to review a large amount of material in less time.

This list of 13 English-derived words used in Québécois French is, of course, nowhere near exhaustive. Even if you choose not to use these words yourself, do learn to understand them to increase your understanding of spoken French.

Caveat lector:

The words below are informal usages in Québec. If you’re required to use standard language (e.g., on a French exam), avoid using these words unless you know what you’re doing. That said, these words are fine to use during informal conversations with francophone friends. For each word, I’ve provided an equivalent in standard Québécois French (SQF) for the times when you need or want to avoid using a colloquial, English-derived one.

1. TOUGH

Pronounced as though written toffe; can be used as an adjective or noun. C’est tough à faire. It’s tough to do. C’est tough à accepter. It’s tough to accept. As a noun, tough means tough guy. Lui, c’t’un tough. He’s a tough guy. (C’t’un is a contraction of c’est un. It sounds like the French word un preceded by st, as though it were st’un.) There’s also the verb tougher, which sounds like toffé. Tougher means to tough out, to put up with. J’ai toughé ça deux mois. I toughed it out for two months. I put up with it for two months. SQF: dur (instead of tough), un dur (instead of un tough) and supporter or endurer (instead of tougher).

2. ROUGH

Rhymes with tough; in other words, it sounds like roffe. J’ai eu une adolescence pas mal rough. I had a pretty rough adolescence. (The part that means pretty here is pas mal. Say these two words together; they form a set expression.) SQF: dur.

3. TOUNE

Feminine noun meaning song, tune. ‘Est tellement bonne, c’te toune-là. That’s such a good song. (‘Est is a contraction of elle est; it sounds like è. C’te is a contraction of cette; it sounds like the French word te with an s sound at the beginning of it, as though it were s’te.) SQF: une chanson.

4. CUTE

Adjective pronounced as though it were spelled kioute. C’est tellement cute! That’s so cute! Y’est tellement cute, ton chien. Your dog’s so cute. (Y’est is a contraction of il est; it sounds like yé.) SQF: mignon.

5. FULL

Adverb meaning very, so. Pronounced like the French word foule. C’est full cute! That’s so cute! C’est full malade! That’s so amazing! The use of full is more typical of younger speakers. SQF: tellement.

6. WEIRD

Adjective pronounced as in English and meaning the same thing. C’t’assez weird, ton affaire. What happened (is happening) to you is pretty weird. Your situation is pretty weird. That’s pretty weird what’s going on (for you). (C’t’assez is a contraction of c’est assez. It sounds like assez preceded by st, as though it were stacé.) SQF: bizarre.

7. GANG

Feminine noun pronounced as in English; used to refer to a group of friends, co-workers. Amène ta gang! Bring your friends along! J’aime ça, sortir en gang. I like going out with friends. Aller souper avec la gang du bureau. To go out for supper with my friends from work. SQF: (mes, tes…) amis, (mes, tes…) collègues.

8. GAME

Pronounced as in English; can be used as an adjective or feminine noun. As a feminine noun, it means the same thing as match, which also happens to be from English. Grosse game à soir! Big game on tonight! As an adjective, it means willing. Es-tu game? You game? You up for it? SQF: un match, une partie (instead of une game); être d’accord (instead of être game).

9. FUN

Masculine noun pronounced as though written fonne. C’est l’fun! This is fun! It’s fun! C’t’un gars l’fun. C’t’une fille l’fun. He’s a fun guy. She’s a fun girl. When used adjectively, fun is preceded by le, which contracts to l’. (C’t’un and c’t’une are contractions of c’est un and c’est une. They sound like the French words un and une preceded by st, as though they were st’un and st’une. Gars rhymes with the French words pas, cas, bas. Don’t pronounce the rs.) On va avoir du fun! We’re gonna have fun! SQF: amusant (as an adjective); s’amuser or avoir du plaisir (instead of avoir du fun).

10. JOB

Feminine noun used literally in the sense of job and also in certain colloquial expressions. Une job d’été. A summer job. J’ai perdu ma job. I lost my job. Ça va faire la job! That’ll do the job! That’ll do the trick! SQF: un emploi, un travail; ça fera l’affaire (instead of ça va faire la job).

11. NAPKIN

A feminine noun meaning napkin, serviette. Amène des napkins! Bring some napkins! Napkin is pronounced as in English, but shift the stress to the final syllable instead. In the plural napkins, the final s isn’t pronounced. SQF: une serviette.

12. TATTOO

Masculine noun pronounced as though written tatou. J’ai un tattoo su’l’mollet. I’ve got a tattoo on my calf. (Su’l’ is a contraction of sur le. It’s pronounced exactly as written, as sul.) SQF: un tatouage.

13. SHIFT

Masculine noun, pronounced as though spelled chiff. It sounds much like the way an anglophone would say shiff, not sheef. Shift de jour, shift de soir, shift de nuit, day shift, evening shift, night shift. J’travaille su’l’shift de soir. I work on the evening shift. (Su’l’ is a contraction of sur le. It’s pronounced exactly as written, as sul.) Shift is sometimes analysed by francophones as being the French word chiffre. This is because shift and chiffre are both pronounced as chiff, at least in colloquial language. This means that, in informal writing written off the cuff (e.g. a text message), you might see chiffre de jour, chiffre de soir, chiffre de nuit, but it’s still pronounced chiff. SQF: un quart (quart de jour, quart de soir, quart de nuit).

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The OffQc guide 1000 Québécois French will help you to increase your vocabulary and knowledge of essential, everyday expressions. It’s a condensed version of the first 1000 posts on OffQc; you can use it to become acquainted with the most important Québécois French vocabulary and expressions for the first time, or to review a large amount of material in less time.

You probably know that all four of these French verbs can be used in the sense of to live, to reside: habiter, vivre, résider, demeurer.

There’s a fifth verb that can be used, however. It’s a colloquial usage.

During a conversation, a woman said in French an equivalent of I don’t live far. She didn’t use any of the four verbs listed above. She used instead the fifth, colloquial one.

Here’s what she said:

J’reste pas loin.
I don’t live far.
(or: I live nearby.)

The verb rester can be used in the same sense as the other four above.

Note also that she didn’t say je ne reste pas loin; she said j’reste pas loin. The ne was omitted, and the vowel sound of je dropped.

Additionally, you’ll notice that when reste is pronounced spontaneously, it sounds as though it were spelled resse. This is because the final st consonant cluster gets simplified into just an s sound.

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The OffQc book C’est what? will help you get your bearings in the colloquial variety of French spoken in Québec and pave the way for further independent study. You can buy and download it here.