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Posts Tagged ‘passer la nuit sur la corde à linge’

An expression used frequently in French is à un moment donné. It means at some point, at a certain point, at one point, etc.

À un moment donné, j’ai dû arrêter.
I had to stop at one point.

À un moment donné, on va devoir prendre une décision.
At some point, we’re going to have to make a decision.

Yesterday, while listening to the radio, I was reminded of how this expression might be pronounced in colloquial language.

I don’t remember what the speaker said exactly so I can’t provide it here, but he pronounced à un moment donné as what sounded like amadné.

I did manage to find an example of amadné here on Urbania:

Tu sais, on pourrait prendre un verre amadné. Moi, c’est Étienne, toi?
You know, we can go for a drink sometime. I’m Étienne, and you?

Gabriel Deschambault,
«Faut qu’un gars se refasse»,
Urbania, 12 août 2013.

Another thing of interest in that quote is:

Moi, c’est Étienne.

This is how you can introduce yourself in French.

Entirely unrelated:

When I took the photo above of clothes hanging on the clothesline, la corde à linge, it reminded me of the expression passer la nuit sur la corde à linge, which literally means to spend the night on the clothesline but can be used figuratively in the sense of to have a rough (sleepless) night.

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Passer la nuit sur la corde à lingeIf you share the bed with someone who snores, you know all about having rough nights and getting little sleep. (Get a good pair of ear plugs.)

In French, when you have a rough night, you could say that you’ve spent the night on the clothesline!

I spotted this ad in the métro earlier today. Sorry, the image is a little blurry. It was a bumpy train ride.

The ad asks: Est-ce que vos matins ressemblent à ça? Is this what your mornings look like?

In the image, we see a grumpy guy hanging on a clothesline with his happy-face cup of coffee.

Around him, we read solutions to sleepless nights offered by the business, like good mattresses and pillows. (They forgot the ear plugs.)

But why is the guy hanging on a clothesline? Because he’s had a sleepless night: Il a passé la nuit sur la corde à linge!

passer la nuit sur la corde à linge
to have a rough night, a sleepless night
(literally: to spend the night on the clothesline)

Remember: passer is pronounced pâsser in Québec.

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