Archive for the ‘Entries #851-900’ Category

This bin full of ice in front of a dépanneur (corner shop) in Montréal asks us:

As-tu ta glace?
Have you got your ice?

Yes, we’ve got enough ice in Montréal these days, thank you very much!

In addition to asking questions with as-tu, you’ll also hear t’as-tu used spontaneously in conversations.

The title of this La Presse article asks us:

T’as-tu ton tattoo?
Have you got your tattoo?,
but feels more like: Ya got your tattoo?

(Tattoo, borrowed from English, is pronounced tatou. It means the same thing as tatouage and is used informally in conversations.)

T’as is a contraction of tu as. When tu is placed after it, we get a yes-no question.

T’as / ton tattoo.
You’ve got / your tattoo.

T’as-tu / ton tattoo?
You’ve got-(yes or no) / your tattoo?

Asking yes-no questions with tu is often misunderstood. Sometimes people think that the second-person singular tu is being stuck in all over the place! But that’s not what’s happening. In t’as-tu ton tattoo?, the second-person singular tu appears just once — it’s the t’. Tu on the other hand signals that we’re being asked a yes-no question here.

Back to the wording on the bin…

How come it says as-tu on the bin and not t’as-tu?

The question as-tu ta glace? could also be asked informally as t’as-tu ta glace?, but remember that the t’as-tu form is informal. We can liken asking t’as-tu ta glace? to something informal in English like “ya got your ice?” Probably too informal for the text on this bin.

You will on occasion see the yes-no tu used in advertising, but when it occurs, the writers are deliberately seeking an informal style.

By the way, if you’re new to OffQc, be sure to check out the transcribed videos in French in the Listen section.

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Feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to begin when it comes to understanding Québécois French? I’ve got just what you need!

75 mini lessons in conversational Québécois French
Buy it here

If you like reading OffQc, you’ll like reading this guide. It revolves around 75 mini lessons, each one beginning with an example sentence taken from the conversational level of French. This guide will give you an overview of the main features of spoken language, making it easier to continue learning on your own.

You’ll explore the 75 example sentences in depth, helping you to understand informal contractions and omitted words in spontaneous speech, frequently used Québécois vocabulary and expressions, important features of pronunciation (like how â, d and t sound), and how tu is used informally to ask yes-no questions.

At the end of the ebook, there’s a set of exercises with answers that you can complete to test your knowledge.

Table of contents

Table of contents

Sample mini lesson

Sample mini lesson

Sample mini lesson

Sample mini lesson

Sample exercise

Sample exercise

You can buy the ebook here and download it immediately. It’s a PDF.

I’ve written this ebook for those of you with a base in French but who’d now like to begin discovering spoken features of Québécois French. You can also use this ebook to review your knowledge. It’s my hope that C’est what? will help to make listening to French more enjoyable by providing you with the keys you need to make sense of what you hear.

You’ll learn how words like sur, dans, à, je, tu, il, elle, ils, plus, etc., can transform in spontaneous speech. You’ll find many examples of using Québec’s infamous tu to ask yes-no questions. You’ll learn or review vocabulary typical to Québec, like niaiser, capoter, pogner, tanné, cave, poche, plate, là. You’ll discover ways to make your French sound more natural when you speak. Each mini lesson includes usage and pronunciation tips.

In addition to the 75 example sentences that each mini lesson is based on, there are about another 200 example sentences included in the lesson notes.

Buy and download C’est what? here

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Payment is by credit card or PayPal.

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Rue Sainte-Catherine in Montréal this week

Rue Sainte-Catherine in snowy Montréal this week

In a radio interview, Jean Leloup described something as being tough en sacrament.

Tough is used informally in the same sense as its English equivalent here: difficult. It’s pronounced toffe.

The expression en sacrament is used to reinforce. We can say that tough en sacrament means “tough as hell” or “damn tough.”

Le français québécois, c’est tough en sacrament.
Québécois French is tough as hell.

Just kidding. It’s not that tough, is it?

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Luminothérapie (Quartier des spectacles)

I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for this week, but the receptionist called to tell me the doctor isn’t feeling well.

Ça arrive même aux médecins, she said laughing. “It even happens to doctors.”

She then told me we’d have to cancel the appointment: On va devoir canceller votre rendez-vous. “We’re going to have to cancel your appointment.”

The verb canceller used in Québécois French means the same thing as annuler.

Québécois French isn’t alone in its use of canceller. In Italian, you can also hear cancellare un appuntamento.

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Y’a-tu quelqu’un?
Is anybody there?

What does y’a-tu mean in this question?

During conversations, maybe you’ve noticed that il y a is almost always pronounced colloquially as y’a (sounds like ).

Y’a-tu quelqu’un?
= Il y a-tu quelqu’un?

The tu after the verb here signals that we’re being asked a yes-no question.

Y’a-tu quelqu’un?
= Il y a-tu quelqu’un?
= Il y a-[oui ou non] quelqu’un?

In the song Maudite jalousie (listen on YouTube here), Kevin Parent sings:

Y’a-tu quelqu’un qui peut m’expliquer?
Is there anybody who can explain to me?
Can anybody explain to me?

A question beginning with y’a-tu…? means the same thing as one that begins with est-ce qu’il y a…?

Y’a-tu quelqu’un que ça intéresse?
Est-ce qu’il y a quelqu’un que ça intéresse?
Is there anybody who’s interested? Is anybody interested? Is there anybody who cares? Does anybody care?

Y’a-tu vraiment une différence entre les deux?
Est-ce qu’il y a vraiment une différence entre les deux?
Is there really a difference between the two?

Do you remember how tu is pronounced by most Québécois? It sounds like tsu. Y’a-tu sounds like yâ-tsu.

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