Archive for the ‘Entries #201-250’ Category

Mettons que… (#260)

Gabrielle, a school teacher, tells a colleague:

J’suis contente que ça se calme dans ma classe parce que, côté famille là, mettons que… mettons que ça se corse.

[Said by the character Gabrielle in 30 vies, season 1, episode 54, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 12 April 2011.]

In this scene from 30 vies, Gabrielle explains that she’s happy that things have calmed down in her class, because at home, things are getting complicated.

OK, but what does mettons que mean? It’s another way of saying disons que, or “let’s say that.”

Côté famille, mettons que ça se corse.
At home, let’s just say things are getting difficult.

In other contexts, mettons que can mean “take for example that” or “suppose that.” You can find a good example of this here, on Wikébec. If you haven’t seen this website before, you’ll find it useful for learning more Quebec French.

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Just some random stuff… I could make this list even longer, but I’ll keep it to six items!

1. Alleys. The atmosphere in them is so different to the world going on in the main streets.

2. The Canal de Lachine. I especially like the part that goes from Farine Five Roses to around marché Atwater.

3. Rust. Montreal’s got lots of it. I like rusty old buildings because they have a story to tell. Silo no. 5… majestueux!

4. The Victoria Bridge. Not only is it stunning, but I also like the humming sound that car tires make on it.

5. Lebanese food. Don’t give me poutine; give me shawarma.

6. The sound that the metro trains make as they pull out of a station. (But I guess that will disappear when the new trains come. I like our old trains. I’ll be sad to see them go.)

And you? What do you love about Montreal?

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Quand ça? (#249)

In a scene from 30 vies, social worker Karine finds out that a student named Blaise has had another epileptic attack. She wants to know when it happened. She asks in French:

Quand ça?

Don’t be surprised to hear ça after question words such as quand, qui, comment, où, pourquoi. When speaking informally, this ça can denote surprise or help reinforce the question.


-Je pars en France.
-Quand ça?

-Le magasin est tout près d’ici.
-Où ça?

-Quelqu’un m’a téléphoné.
-Qui ça?

-Je l’ai vu hier.
-Qui ça?

-J’ai vu ton frère.
-Quand ça?

-Il veut nous aider.
-Comment ça?

-Je sais pas.
-Comment ça, tu sais pas?*

* “What do you mean you don’t know?” You can read more examples of comment ça used like this in entry #290.

[This entry was inspired by the character Karine in 30 vies, season 1, episode 51, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 6 April 2011.]

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T’es malade, toi! (#248)

Yet again, walking down Sainte-Catherine in Montreal provided me with inspiration for a new entry!

A teenager said to his friend:

T’es malade, toi!

He wasn’t commenting on his friend’s health — no, instead he was telling him that he thinks he’s crazy…

t’es malade = t’es fou = yer crazy!

(Remember, t’es is an informal way of pronouncing tu es.)

You may also hear malade used to describe events:

C’est malade, ya* du monde partout ici!
It’s crazy, there are people everywhere here!

C’était malade, son party!
His party was wild! sick! amazing!

* ya is an informal pronunciation of il y a

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Karine is a social worker at the école du Vieux-Havre, in the TV series 30 vies. She’s having trouble with a colleague at work.

She’s upset with the way she was treated by her colleague and says that he is bête avec elle. In other words, he’s rude or unfriendly to her.

être bête avec quelqu’un
to be rude, unfriendly to someone

Mes voisins sont bêtes avec moi.
My neighbours are rude, unfriendly to me.

La serveuse a été bête avec moi.
The waitress was rude, unfriendly to me.

If someone is bête avec quelqu’un, he’s unfriendly, impolite, talks in a harsh way and could even be described as being mean or nasty.

[This entry was inspired by the character Karine in 30 vies, season 1, episode 51, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 6 April 2011.]

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