Posts Tagged ‘de bonne heure’

Here are three expressions that have come up in conversations recently, and which are usually underused or unknown by learners of French.


De bonne heure means early. Arriver de bonne heure, to arrive early. Se lever de bonne heure, to get up early.

Y’est d’bonne heure un peu, mais j’vas fêter ça quand meme.
(=Il est de bonne heure un peu, mais je vais fêter ça quand même.)
It’s a bit early, but I’m gonna celebrate it anyway.

Y’est d’bonne heure sounds like yéd / bonne / heure. The conjugation j’vas rhymes with pas. The j and v are said together, with no vowel sound between, as jva. J’vas is a colloquial form of je vais.


We’ve looked often at this expression, but there’s a very good reason — it’s frequently used in conversations, and you need to know it. Instead of saying j’veux pas all the time, you can try to work in ça m’tente pas.

Des fois ça m’tente pas.
(=Des fois [parfois] ça ne me tente pas.)
Sometimes I don’t want to.

Ça m’tente pas d’sortir.
(=Ça ne me tente pas de sortir.)
I don’t wanna go out.

To pronounce ça m’tente, imagine the m as being on the end of ça instead: çam / tente / pas. The same goes for pas d’sortir; imagine the d as being on the end of pas instead: çam / tente / pad / sortir.


Here’s a colloquial expression that might be used in place of j’devrais, tu devrais, etc. It’s a short form of il faudrait bien que. It means (I, you…) really should (do), (I, you…) really must be (doing). This expression is followed by the subjunctive.

Ça m’tente pas trop, mais faudrait ben qu’j’me lève.
(=Ça ne me tente pas trop, mais il faudrait bien que je me lève.)
I don’t really wanna, but I really should get up.

Ben sounds like the French word bain. Ben qu’ sounds like bain with a k on the end of it. In j’me, the j and m are said together, with no vowel sound in between: faudraitbaink / jme / lève.

Faudrait ben qu’tu’m’racontes ça.
(=Il faudrait bien que tu me racontes ça.)
You really gotta tell me all about it.

You’d say this last one as: faudrait / baink / tum / racontes / ça. Of course, you’ll remember that the t of tu in fact sounds like ts when pronounced by the Québécois (like the ts in the English words cats, bats, hats): faudrait / baink / tsum / racontes / ça.

With these expressions in mind, can you say the following in French?

I don’t really want to leave early.
I really should do that, even if I don’t wanna.
I really gotta start getting up early.


Lots of contractions in this post — learn how words contract in spoken Québécois French (with audio): read Contracted French

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During a conversation, someone said an equivalent in French of go early.

As an example, maybe you’d say go early to someone who needed to go to a walk-in clinic to see a doctor, and you wanted to advise that person to go first thing in the morning before many other people arrived.

How might you say go early then?

Here’s what the person said:

Vas-y de bonne heure.
Go early.

The expression de bonne heure means early.


Five years ago to the day, we looked at a quote from the TV show 19-2:

The scene:

Two policemen have been called to investigate a building. When they arrive, they step out of their patrol car. That’s when one of the policemen sees someone moving about inside the building. To alert his partner, he says: Y’a què’qu’un en d’dans! There’s someone inside!

Y’a què’qu’un en d’dans is a contraction of il y a quelqu’un en dedans.

In colloquial language, quelqu’un can lose its l. The contracted què’qu’un sounds like quèc’un.

You’ll remember that là-dessus contracts to là-d’ssus (sounds like ladsu) in spoken language. Similarly, en dedans loses a syllable and contracts to en d’dans (sounds like anddan).


OffQc guides for sale

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