Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

Non, merci. Je suis rassasié. Wouf.

Jude sends me a link about the use of the expression je suis plein to mean feeling full after eating.

The author there talks about how je suis plein is not used in France to describe having a full stomach.

In the case of a woman who says je suis pleine, the French may interpret this as meaning she’s pregnant.

But the author also mentions that je suis plein can indeed be heard in Québec and Belgium in the sense of having a stomach full of food.

That makes je suis plein an expression belgiquébécoise.

So, you’re not going to shock anybody in Québec if you decide to use the expression je suis plein. But if you’d rather avoid it, there are other things you can say that work everywhere French is spoken, like:

j’ai (déjà) assez mangé
j’ai (déjà) trop mangé

je n’en peux plus (or more informally j’en peux plus)

The s in plus is silent. Je n’en peux plus means: “I can’t manage [to eat] more.”

If you use these expressions to refuse the offer of more food, you’ll probably want to soften them with other words to avoid seeming rude:

Ah! C’était vraiment délicieux, mais j’ai déjà trop mangé, merci!

You might also hear someone tell you that it’s possible to say je suis rassasié or je suis repu to say that you’re full. I disagree. These expressions are much too formal to be appropriate during a conversation.

Unless you normally say things in English like: “Wow, that BigMac left me replete” or “More pizza? No, thanks, I’m satiated,” then I’d avoid rassasié and repu during conversations in French.

Does je suis plein come from the English “I am full”? I don’t know. But we should consider these points before rushing to label it an anglicism:

1. If the Belgians also say it, it’s unlikely to come from English;
2. Spanish literally says “I am full” (estoy lleno);
3. Italian also literally says “I am full” (sono pieno).

Although, if you’re Italian, you know that your nonna (grandmother) will never accept the idea that you’re full and you’ll be obligated to keep eating.

Another expression used in Québec when full of food is je suis bourré. It’s the equivalent of “I’m stuffed.”

Remember that je suis very often contracts to chu (or chui) during regular conversations: chu plein, chu bourré.

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Here are 5 new examples of spontaneous French from conversations or that I’ve overheard someone say in Montréal.

1. Y’est moins dix.

It’s ten to.
(Il est moins dix.)

It was ten to three (14 h 50) when the person said this. You’ll often hear il est pronounced as y’est ().

Dix gets dziduated in Québec. It sounds like dziss.

2. Y’a moins de choix que la dernière fois.

There’s less choice than last time.
(Il y a moins de choix que la dernière fois.)

This person was talking about how there was less to choose from in a shop compared with last time. Il y a is generally pronounced y’a in regular conversations.

3. Y’a pas de quoi être fier.

That’s nothing to be proud of.
(Il n’y a pas de quoi être fier.)

The opposite of y’a is y’a pas, which is generally how you’ll hear il n’y a pas pronounced during regular conversations.

4. Excusez!


A man knocked over his chair by accident in a restaurant, making a lot of noise. He apologised to the people around him by saying excusez.

Maybe you’ll remember the elderly lady who burped behind me and said pardon, ‘scusez to the people around her.

5. Ciao!


Ciao is used very frequently in Montréal to say “bye.”

In the original Italian, ciao means both “hi” and “bye.” Francophones in Québec use it to say “bye.”

La banlieue, c'pas pour moiUrban French

La banlieue, c’pas pour moi. The burbs aren’t for me.

If ever there was an example of urban French, this would have to be it.

The image is of an advertisement, seen in a métro station, for urban condos located in Montréal.

No lawns, please and thank you!

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