Posts Tagged ‘des affaires de même’

A few posts ago in #1133, we looked at the word affaires, where it appeared twice in this sentence said by a man in Montréal:

On a pas d’affaires à dire des affaires d’même!
They’ve got no business saying things like that!
They’ve got no right to say stuff like that!

We also saw:

T’as pas d’affaires à dire ça!
You’ve got no business saying that!
You’ve got no right to say that!

Let’s look at another example using affaire, which you’ll want to learn because it’s useful in conversations:

L’affaire, c’est que…

We can translate this as the thing is… This expression can be used to introduce the downside to a situation.

J’comprends, mais l’affaire c’est que…
I understand, but the thing is…
I understand, it’s just that…

L’affaire, c’est que j’ai pas l’goût d’attendre deux semaines.
The thing is I don’t wanna wait two weeks.
It’s just that I don’t feel like waiting two weeks.

The expression avoir le goût de means to want (to). When you say the contracted j’ai pas l’goût (with ne omitted because this is colloquial language) say it in three syllables: j’ai / pas l’ / goût. The second syllable pas l’ sounds as though pas ends with an L.


Refresh your French or get caught up: The OffQc book 1000 Québécois French is a condensed version of all the language that appeared in the first 1000 posts on OffQc. You can buy and download it here.

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A man in Montréal said an equivalent of this while speaking with a friend:

They’ve got no business saying things like that!

He didn’t use the French word choses to say things. Can you think of another way he might have said it? What about the expression they’ve got no business doing (…); how might that be rendered in French?

Here’s what he said, in French:

On a pas d’affaires à dire des affaires d’même!

We’ve got the French word affaires in there twice, but it means something different each time.

In the first instance of affaires, we can liken it to the English word business in the expression to have no business doing something (i.e., to have no right to do something).

An example of this came up back in entry #405, where a character from a television show said:

T’as pas d’affaires à dire ça!
You’ve got no business saying that!
You’ve got no right to say that!

Remember, in spoken language, ne is omitted; that’s why it’s t’as pas and not tu n’as pas. (After ne is omitted, the remaining tu as pas contracts to t’as pas.) In the same way, we’ve got on a pas in our first example, rather than on n’a pas. That said, on n’a pas and the colloquial on a pas sound exactly the same.

The second instance of affaires means things, and de même means the same thing as comme ça. Des affaires de même, then, means des choses comme ça, or things like that.

You’ll notice, though, that I contracted de in the example: des affaires d’même. This means that de loses its vowel sound. To say des affaires d’même, move the contracted d’ to the end of affaires, as though it were dé z’affair’d même. You’ll discover many more contraction tips like this in Contracted French.

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I was reminded of a frequently used expression in Québécois French yesterday when I overheard a mother scold her daughter here in Montréal.

The daughter had begun doing handstands and back arches at a bus stop in the street when her mother yelled:

Arrête de faire des affaires de même quand tu viens de manger!

Stop doing stuff like that when you’ve just finished eating!

Well that took all her fun away. I was impressed with her acrobatics.

Des affaires de même…

This wording almost sounds like serious business because of the word affaires, doesn’t it?

And yet, affaires simply means “stuff” or “things” here.

As for de même, it means the same thing as comme ça, which is also used in Québécois French.

des affaires de même
stuff like that
things like that

I like this next example written by Mathieu Pichette on a blog promoting travel in Sudbury and northern Ontario:

Bien sûr, pour faire des affaires de même, il faut connaître kekun de la place. Heureusement pour vous, je suis kekun de la place!

Of course, to do stuff like that, you gotta know someone from the place. Luckily for you, I am someone from the place!

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