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Posts Tagged ‘chicaner’

I heard a few uses of chicane on the radio yesterday. This feminine noun means “fight” or “argument.” In particular, I heard these two usages:

une chicane au bureau
a fight at the office
an argument at work

une chicane de famille
a family fight
an argument in the family

I also heard the verb se chicaner, which means “to fight with one another.” Ils se chicanent. They fight with one another.

In particular, the speaker on the radio said this using se chicaner:

Chicanez-vous pas, là!
Don’t fight, now!
No fighting, now!

The speaker said this to two people who were play-fighting on air.

Grammar books would tell us the way to form this negative construction is ne vous chicanez pas. But that’s not what the speaker said — she did indeed say chicanez-vous pas. This is an informal, spoken construction. It was formed by simply adding pas after the affirmative.

chicanez-vous, fight
chicanez-vous pas, don’t fight

One that you’ll hear often enough in spoken French in Québec following this form is inquiète-toi pas, don’t worry.

inquiète-toi, worry
inquiète-toi pas, don’t worry

Remember, this is felt to be informal. When the rules of written grammar must be followed strictly (like on your exam in your French course), you’d have to write ne t’inquiète pas.

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Rabii Rammal writes about the overuse of text messages in a relationship, even when the subject matter is important. He says:

Même les affaires importantes. Genre quand on se chicane, on s’envoie des romans.

Even important stuff. Like when we fight, we send each other novels.

They don’t really send each other novels of course, just really long text messages.

As you listen to spoken French, have you heard genre used like that? It means “like” when giving an example of something. We can say it’s a colloquial way of saying par exemple.

In another example using genre, Rabii talks about going overboard with saying thanks in certain situations:

Genre je peux remercier le facteur qui me remet une lettre, mais je ne peux pas remercier un facteur que je croise dans la rue pour l’ensemble de son œuvre.

For example, I can thank the mailman who delivers a letter to me, but I can’t thank a mailman who I bump into in the street for the entirety of his career.

Harriet mentioned in a comment that she learned the difference between the words facture and facteur. Une facture is a bill. Cashiers also often use this word in the sense of receipt. (Voulez-vous la facture? Do you want the receipt?) Un facteur delivers the mail.

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OK, fine, so Italy got eliminated at the World Cup.

I’m feeling better today (thank you), but they need to get back to work now and so do I.

Here’s today entry: talking about plans for the summer holidays.

This Les Parent Facebook update from 23 June asks:

Finissez-vous l’école cette semaine?
Que ferez-vous de vos vacances?

Do you finish school this week?
What will you do on your holidays?

The second question more literally means “what will you make of your holidays?” The comments section was full of answers from young people, so let’s see what some of them had to say.

Lots of travelling plans:

aller en Gaspésie
go to Gaspésie

aller à New York
go to New York

Je m’en vais au Portugal.
I’m going to Portugal.

M’en vas à Trois-Pistoles… yes!
Going to Trois-Pistoles… yes!
(M’en vas sounds more informal than je m’en vais.)

Rien à part brûler au soleil aux quatre coins du Québec.
Nothing other than burn in the sun all over Québec.

visiter les régions du Québec
visit the regions of Québec
(i.e., travel around Québec)

Others plan to spend time outdoors:

la Ronde, la Ronde
la Ronde, la Ronde
(It’s an amusement park in Montréal.)

Je vais sûrement aller à la Ronde ou à la plage.
I’ll most likely go to the Ronde or the beach.

pêche et vélo
fishing and biking

me baigner
go swimming

me baigner et me chicaner avec ma soeur
go swimming and fight with my sister

No holidays for some kids:

travailler, travailler, travailler et encore travailler
work, work, work and more work

Travailler au camp d’été!
Work at summer camp!

Some plan to relax or just be lazy:

D.O.R.M.I.R. tout court
S.L.E.E.P., end of story

chiller
chill out

rien
nothing

aucune idée
no idea

Pour l’instant, je préfère être au lit.
For the moment, I prefer to be in bed.

Je vais rester à la maison et relaxer tout l’été.
I’m going to stay home and relax all summer.

fuck all
fuck all

Et vous, que ferez-vous de vos vacances ?
Ne dites pas « fuck all » !

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