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Posts Tagged ‘money’

Six oranges, check. Five tomatoes, check. One locally grown child, check.

Last week, I went to a supermarket called Maxi.

At Maxi, you have to put une piasse (1 $) into a device on le panier (shopping cart) to release it from the other ones. The panier only accepts one-dollar coins.

When I had finished shopping and returned my panier, two women approached me. One of them asked if she could take my piasse in exchange for four quarters so that she could take a panier.

She asked:

Est-ce que je peux prendre ta piasse pour quatre vingt-cinq sous?
Can I take your loonie [one-dollar coin] for four quarters?

At Maxi, there’s a large sign posted at the spot where customers return their paniers in the parking lot, le stationnement.

I took a photo of the sign so that you could see it and learn French vocabulary from it.

Some of the vocabulary on the sign includes: dépôt, se procurer un panier, retourner le panier, magasiner, passer à la caisse, déverrouiller un panier, monnaie, jeton réutilisable.

The word panier doesn’t just refer to shopping carts with wheels, though.

I found another sign that uses the word panier on it at the entrance to a store called Dollarama.

On this sign, shoppers are told to use a panier (basket) when shopping in the store, and not one of their own sacs réutilisables, reusable bags.

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Chris asks what the phrase arrondissement du cent means on a receipt he received at the grocery store (à l’épicerie).

The penny (sou noir or cenne noire) isn’t used in Canada anymore, so the price you pay is now rounded up or down to the nearest increment of five cents if you’re paying cash. Cash registers still display the price before being rounded-off.

If the cash register displays 6,52 $ (six et cinquante-deux), round the price down and pay 6,50 $ (six et cinquante). If it displays 6,53 $ (six et cinquante-trois), round the price up and pay 6,55 $ (six et cinquante-cinq).

A receipt may show both the original price and the rounded-off price. If it shows the rounded-off price, it may be preceded by something like montant arrondi or, like on the receipt that Chris received, arrondissement du cent.

The verb arrondir means “to round off.” Rounding up is arrondir à la hausse. Rounding down is arrondir à la baisse.

You’ll often hear cashiers call the receipt une facture. For example, a cashier may ask if you want the receipt by saying:

Voulez-vous la facture?
Do you want the receipt?

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I heard two strangers say these examples of French yesterday in Montréal. They are both related to money.

1. Est-ce qu’y’a quelqu’un qui a jusse vingt cennes?

A street kid asked this question of all the passers-by around him. It means: “Is there anybody who’s got just twenty cents?”

I’ve written it above exactly as he pronounced it.

est-ce qu’y’a [esskya] = est-ce qu’il y a
jusse = juste
vingt cennes = vingt cents

Cenne is a feminine word, une cenne. It’s an informal pronunciation of cent.

Cent is a masculine word, un cent. When cent means “cent” (as in $0.01), it’s pronounced like the English word “sent.” Don’t pronounce it like the French word for 100 in this sense.

Cent is a more formal usage than cenne. The word cent is used on Canadian coins, for example. In regular conversations, it’s pronounced cenne.

You may remember that sou also means “cent” in Québec.

vingt cennes
vingt sous
twenty cents

The terms cenne noire and sou noir both referred to the penny, but this coin is no longer in circulation in Canada. The noir part referred to the colour that the coin took on through use.

2. Payez-vous débit ou comptant?

A cashier asked me this. It means: “Are you paying by debit or cash?”

When you pay by debit card, the money is taken immediately out of your bank account.

Débit is pronounced débi. Comptant sounds like the French word content. The expression payer comptant means “to pay cash” (and not “to pay happy”!).

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