Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘c’te’

On television, a speaker used a French version of the expression “no double dipping!”

This expression is sometimes used half in jest at parties amongst invitees to remind themselves not to dip their chip twice into a shared bowl of sauce.

Here’s what she said:

  • Pas de double trempette!
    No double dipping!

Then, in a televised ad, a second speaker told listeners to take advantage of incredible bargains at a certain store.

He said:

  • Profitez d’incroyables aubaines!
    Take advantage of incredible bargains!

Aubaine is a feminine noun meaning bargain.

Finally, a third speaker used an informal pronunciation when he said in an interview:

  • Dans le cas de c’te travail-là
    In the case of this job
    As far as this job goes

What’s c’te?

Informally, both ce and cette might be pronounced c’te. It sounds like te with an s on the front of it (s’te).

The informally pronounced c’te travail-là, then, means ce travail-là.

1. Pas de double trempette!
2. Profitez d’incroyables aubaines!
3. Dans le cas de c’te travail-là

Read Full Post »

Pu capab' !

Pus capab’, moé !

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capable!

Literal translation:
Personally, the winter, not capable!

Huh??
Not capable of what?
Not capable of standing the winter, of course!

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capable!
Personally, I can’t stand the winter!

The le in capable often drops in colloquial speech: capab’. It sounds like capabe.

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capab’!

Honnêtement là, c’te fille-là, pas capab’!
Honestly, I can’t stand that girl!

C’te is an informally contracted form of cette. To understand what c’te sounds like, first say te. Now put an s sound at the beginning of it: ste.

People also say chu pas capab’. Remember, chu is an informally contracted form of je suis. So chu pas capab’ is a contracted form of the much less informal sounding je ne suis pas capable.

Chu pas can contract even further to ch’pas. Maybe this contraction will remind you of Lisa LeBlanc’s song J’pas un cowboy, where j’pas is pronounced ch’pas. I’ll use the spelling ch’pas here because it’s more phonetic, but remember that you might read j’pas instead in authentic texts.

L’hiver, ch’pas capab’.
I can’t stand the winter.

C’te fille-là, ch’pas capab’.
I can’t stand that girl.

J’aime tous mes voisins. Y’a juste toi que ch’pas capab’.
I like all my neighbours. You’re the only one I can’t stand.

Ouch!

If pas capab’ means “can’t stand it,” then pu capab’ means “can’t stand it anymore.” Remember, pu is an informally contracted form of plus, which means “no more.” It’s also often spelled pus (don’t pronounce the s).

C’te fille-là, pu capab’.
I can’t stand that girl anymore.

Ch’pus capab’ d’habiter au centre-ville.
I can’t stand living downtown anymore.

Honnêtement là, l’hiver, ch’pu capab’.
Honestly, I can’t stand the winter anymore.

Lots of contractions in this post! If you can manage them, you’ll go a long way in making your French sound more natural.

If these contractions are still too challenging for you, don’t stress out about it. Keep listening to lots of spoken French and you may just find that you start using them without having to think too much about it.

Image credit: Watyrfall

Read Full Post »

Some overheard French on the métro earlier today — a girlfriend said to her boyfriend while boarding the train:

J’parlais pas de c’te fois-là.
I wasn’t talking about that time.

j’parlais pas (informal)
= je ne parlais pas

de c’te fois-là (informal)
= de cette fois-là

Remember, at an informal level of spoken French, negative sentences are very often formed with just pas, rather than ne… pas.

She also pronounced cette as c’te, which sounds like “çte” (rhymes with me, de, le, etc.). You don’t have to do this yourself, but do learn to recognise it.

Read Full Post »