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Posts Tagged ‘dans la’

I saw this ad from the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montréal. It reads:

T’es vraiment dans la Lune!

The expression être dans la lune means to be out to lunch, to not be with it, to have your head in the clouds, etc. This expression works well in an ad from a planetarium because it contains the word lune.

There’s an informal usage in the ad, which is t’es (sounds like ). This is a contraction of tu es, and it’s used very frequently in spoken language.

The authors could’ve put in a second informal usage in the ad, but they chose not to. Do you know what informal usage that might be?

dans’ lune

Maybe you’ll remember that when dans and la come together, they can give rise to an informal contraction: dans’.

This means tu es dans la lune can be pronounced informally as t’es dans’ lune.

Why then didn’t they put the informal dans’ in the ad if they were willing to use t’es? It isn’t unusual to come across t’es in advertising, but dans’… very rare. The authors probably felt dans’ would’ve rendered the text too informal, striking readers as inappropriate.

Maybe we can compare it to the informal yer and gonna in English. You might come across you’re gonna love it in an ad, with the informal gonna, but you’re much less likely to come across yer gonna love it, even though that’s how you’d pronounce it spontaneously.

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Overheard: A woman in her late 20s in Montréal lamented to a friend about her personal situation. With the way things were going, the woman said she’d probably end up in the street with all her stuff.

To end up in the street is finir dans la rue. But maybe you’ll remember that the words dans la have a high tendency of contracting in spontaneous speech.

Dans la can contract to dans ‘a, which sounds essentially like dans when the vowel sounds of dans and ‘a come together. We can show this informal contraction in writing with an apostrophe: dans’.

Instead of saying dans la rue then, she said dans’ rue.

Two words used to talk about “stuff” include affaires, which you might already know, and stock, which you might be unfamiliar with.

When the woman talked about ending up in the street with her stuff, she said all my stuff as tout mon stock.

We saw the word stock in a past entry when it appeared in an episode of the television show Les Parent — in that scene, Louis is helping his son with his homework. He’s surprised his son’s having trouble because the homework is easy stuff. He says to his son: C’est du stock de troisième année! This is Grade 3 stuff!

We saw stock again in another entry when a person who noticed I was carrying a lot of stuff in my arms said to me: T’as pas mal de stock. You’ve got a lot of stuff.

Remember, pas mal isn’t a negation; it’s an expression. Pas mal de means a lot of, quite a bit of.

Say the words pas mal together:
T’as / pas mal / de stock.

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We’ve seen it before: when dans and la come together in colloquial speech, la might lose its L sound leaving us with dans ‘a.

Then, if you say that fast, the remaining ‘a sound just kind of gets swallowed up.

That’s why dans la marde in the expression être dans la marde (to be in shit, trouble) sounds more like dans marde in colloquial speech.

T’es dans’ marde!
(= Tu es dans la marde!)
You’re in shit!
You’re in trouble!
You’re in for it!

I suppose for good style we should include an apostrophe after dans to show that the la was contracted (dans’ marde), but it’s rare in casual writing online to see anybody actually bother.

The same thing can happen with the expression dans la face. It can become dans’ face. Here are some examples from around the Wonderful World Wide Web. I’ll put the apostrophe in for good measure.

Ça fait sept ans que j’ai ça dans’ face.
I’ve had that in my face for seven years.

Essaye de te contrôler avec ça dans’ face 24 heures sur 24.
(You just) try to control yourself with that in your face 24 hours a day.

Maudit internet. Quand on était jeune, câlice, on se disait ça dans’ face.
Damn internet. When we were young, for fuck’s sake, we’d say that to each other’s face.

J’ai juste à y flasher ça dans’ face!
I just have to flash that in his face!

The y here is an informal pronunciation of lui. In full, this sentence would read: j’ai juste à lui flasher ça dans la face.

C’est comme un coup de poing dans’ face.
It’s like a punch in the face.

A friend on Facebook sent me the image below. You can click on it. I’m not sure where the photo was taken, but it doesn’t matter.

There’s a mistake on the sign. Can you understand why the mistake is funny?

The sign should have said:

Piétons, prenez le trottoir d’en face.
Pedestrians, take the other sidewalk.

Here’s a correct example.

D’en face means “on the opposite side.” But say d’en face aloud. It sounds just like dans face, doesn’t it?

Piétons, prenez le trottoir dans face.
Pedestrians, shove the sidewalk in your face!

_ _ _

Merci Anne-Marie 😀

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Check out the text on this sign in a Montréal street promoting a beer:

Pas besoin d’avoir 56 sortes de verres, est bonne direct dans bouteille.
No need for 56 kinds of glasses, it’s good straight from the bottle.

Hmm. Aren’t there are few words missing in the French text?

Why does it say est bonne instead of elle est bonne? Where’s the subject?

And why does it say dans bouteille instead of dans la bouteille? Where did the la go?

Did they run out of room on the sign? No, it’s got nothing to do with that.

The authors have chosen to use an informal style of French here. It sounds the way someone might say it in a real conversation.

elle est bonne
‘est bonne (informal usage)

dans la bouteille
dans’ bouteille (informal usage)

What’s going on in those informal versions? Contractions, that’s what!

When elle and est come together, you’ll notice they sometimes contract to ‘est. It sounds like è.

Similarly, when dans and la come together, you’ll notice they tend to contract to dans’.

T’es dans’ marde!
[tu es dans la marde]
You’re screwed now!

Y m’a ri dans’ face.
[il m’a ri dans la face]
He laughed in my face.

‘Est don’ ben belle.
[elle est donc bien belle]
She’s so pretty.

There’s one more bit of text down at the bottom of the sign:

La bière sérieuse qui se prend pas au sérieux.
A serious beer that doesn’t take itself seriously.

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