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Posts Tagged ‘as-tu ta glace’

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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