Posts Tagged ‘avoir l’air’

Can you guess how a woman said “he seems really friendly” in French? Make an attempt, and then read on.

Métro Saint-Michel, à Montréal [février 2016]

Métro Saint-Michel, à Montréal [février 2016]

Maybe your guess included the adjective gentil, but the woman didn’t use it. Instead, she used the adjective fin. Fin (masculine) and fine (feminine) are very often used to describe someone as being nice, friendly.

Really can be said as très, vraiment in French, of course, but that’s not what the woman said. Instead, she said ben. It’s a contraction of bien, and it rhymes with the French word fin we just looked at. We could also spell it bin, but you’ll most often see it spelled ben.

What about to seem here? You can use the expression avoir l’air, meaning to seem, to look. For example, you might say what the woman said as y’a l’air ben fin, where y’a is a spoken language contraction of il a.

But… that’s not what she said either!

Here is what she said:

Y’a d’l’air ben fin.

The expression she used is avoir de l’air (pronounced avoir d’l’air), which is an informal variation on the expression avoir l’air.

Here are a a few more examples of this:

Y’a l’air ben sérieux.
Y’a d’l’air ben sérieux.
He seems, looks really serious.

T’as l’air ben fine.
T’as d’l’air ben fine.
You seem, look really friendly.

T’as rhymes with pas; it’s a contraction of tu as.

Ç’a l’air compliqué.
Ç’a d’l’air compliqué.
It seems, looks complicated.

Ç’a sounds like sa; it’s a contraction of ça a.

Ç’a l’air que non.
Ç’a d’l’air que non.
It seems not. It doesn’t appear so. It doesn’t look like it.

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