Posts Tagged ‘pas tant que ça’

I went through the last dozen posts on OffQc, pulled out key expressions and vocabulary, then rearranged it all into this dialogue for review. (If you squint your eyes and plug your nose, it almost sounds like a real dialogue, with a surprise ending and all.)

Enweille! Qu’est-ce tu fais? C’est pas l’temps d’niaiser!
J’gratte ma guitare, man…
— Ah, c’est l’fun, hein?
Pas tant qu’ça. J’file pas… J’peux-tu t’bummer une smoke?
— Euh… non.
T’es ben gratteux, toé. Enweille, donne-moé une smoke. J’te niaise pas. J’ai un paquet d’problèmes! Mon restaurant spécialisé en grilled cheese a été vandalisé.
— Ah, ok. Bon ben… c’est pour ici ou pour emporter?
— Quoi?
Tes Timbits, c’est pour manger ici ou pour emporter?
— Ah, ouais… mes Timbits… euh, pour emporter… merci…

— Come on! What’re ya doing? Quit wasting time!
— Strummin’ my guitar, man…
— Ah, that’s fun, huh?
— Not really. I’m not feelin’ good… Can I bum a smoke off ya?
— Uh… no.
— You’re so cheap. Come on, give me a smoke. I’m not kidding. I’ve got a whole bunch of problems! My restaurant specialised in grilled cheese was broken into.
— Ah, ok. Right so… is it for here or to go?
— What?
— Your Timbits, are they for here or to go?
— Oh yeah.. my Timbits… uh, they’re to go… thanks…

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During a conversation, a man said in French an equivalent of “I’m not really bothered by it.”

(For example, imagine you’d just bought a shirt or some other item and there was a small defect in it, but nothing so great that you felt the need to return it. You might say “I’m not really bothered by it” in this situation.)

Can you guess how the man managed to render the idea of not really here without using pas vraiment?

Here’s what he said:

Ça m’dérange pas tant qu’ça.
I’m not really bothered by it.
I’m not bothered by it so much.
I’m not too bothered by it.

In pas tant qu’ça (contracted form of pas tant que ça), que loses its vowel sound. The contracted qu’ sounds like a k. To say pas tant qu’ça, first say pas, then say tant with a k sound on the end of it, then say ça. The contracted pas tant qu’ça has three syllables: pas / tan’qu’ / ça.

— C’est l’fun, hein?
— Pas tant qu’ça!
— It’s fun, huh?
— Not really! Not particularly!


The OffQc book Contracted French takes a detailed look at high-frequency contracted forms similar to the ones above (ça m’dérange pas, c’est l’fun, pas tant qu’ça) and helps you pronounce them like a native speaker. You can buy and download it here.

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