Posts Tagged ‘souper’

An employee advised his co-worker that he was going on supper break by saying a French equivalent of “I’m going for supper.” Can you guess how he said it?

The employee used a first-person present tense conjugation of s’en aller (to go), followed by the verb souper (to eat supper, to have supper). In other words, to say to go for supper, he used the expression s’en aller souper.

One way s’en aller conjugates is as je m’en vais, giving us je m’en vais souper — but that’s not what he said. Another way it conjugates is as je m’en vas, where vas rhymes with pas. The conjugation je m’en vas is a colloquial form and contracts in spoken language to j’m’en vas, giving us j’m’en vas souper. This still isn’t quite what the employee said, though.

Here, finally, is what he said:

M’en vas souper.
I’m going for supper.

M’en vas is a reduction of the conjugation je m’en vas, where the pronoun je is no longer present.

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I grabbed a handful of usages that have appeared on OffQc since post #1000 and put them in a cloud. Can you explain to yourself how each one might be used? You can click on the image for a larger version.

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We’ve seen before on OffQc that the three meals of the day in Québec are called:

  • le déjeuner, breakfast
  • le dîner, lunch
  • le souper, supper

On the radio, though, here’s what the host said to us listeners:

C’est l’heure du lunch qui s’en vient bientôt.
Lunchtime’s coming up.

That’s lunch’s second name in Québec: le lunch.

A reader of OffQc liked this Québecois usage: la boîte à lunch, which she found in this newspaper article online. The article is called Suggestions pour la boîte à lunch, and contains suggestions of lunches kids can take to school. You can say un sac à lunch if it’s a bag.

There’s another meal that could be added to this list: le brunch. It’s a meal that occurs between breakfast + lunch.

In advertising especially, you might notice the typically Québécois terms are sometimes not used. Here’s what’s on the back cover of an Ikea catalogue that showed up in my mailbox:

Petit-déjeuner au lit… comme ça, sans raison.
Breakfast in bed… just because.

Rather than calling breakfast in bed déjeuner au lit like they did in this TVA article, the Ikea magazine uses petit-déjeuner au lit.

Here’s how the TVA article used déjeuner au lit:

Vous cherchez à gâter maman à l’occasion de la fête des mères? Pourquoi ne pas lui préparer un décadent déjeuner au lit pour débuter sa journée en beauté?
Want to spoil Mother on Mother’s Day? Why not make her a decadent breakfast in bed so she can get her day off to a great start?

How do you say things like to have breakfast, to have supper, etc.? You can use the verb forms of the words (dîner, souper…). In #451, we saw:

Vous avez pas encore soupé.
You haven’t had supper yet.

Ça vous dérange pas qu’ils soupent avec nous?
Is it okay if they stay for supper? have supper with us?

You can also say things like aller souper, aller dîner, aller bruncher, etc. In #991, we saw:

aller souper au restaurant
to go out for supper

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Can you describe your new boyfriend as being too clingy? What about cuddling up to a movie? Can you tell someone you don’t look your age?

I went straight to the source for these examples… personal ads online!

Here are 30 random expressions and phrases on the topic of dating and long-term relationships — une relation à long terme — to add to your knowledge.

1. écouter un film collés sur le divan
to cuddle up to a movie on the sofa

2. je cherche mon âme soeur
I’m looking for my soul mate

3. je suis de type plutôt casanier
I’m pretty much a stay-at-home kind of guy

4. dans mes temps libres
in my free time

5. aller souper au restaurant
to go out for supper

6. faire des activités de plein air
to do outdoor activities

7. je suis ouvert à presque tout
I’m open to almost anything

8. au plaisir de te lire
looking forward to hearing from you

9. j’aime mon divan au plus haut point
I absolutely love my sofa

10. j’aime prendre soin des autres
I like to take care of others

11. j’adore être entourée de ma famille
I like to be surrounded by my family

12. je suis une personne très sociable
I’m a very sociable person

13. j’aime les bons restos
I like good restaurants

14. j’aime apprendre et échanger sur de nombreux sujets
I like to learn and talk about numerous subjects

15. je ne fais pas mon âge
I don’t look my age

16. je recherche une relation à long terme
I’m looking for a long-term relationship

17. je suis un grand cinéphile
I’m a huge movie fan

18. je recherche une femme qui aime faire des sorties
I’m looking for a woman who likes to go out

19. il faut que je sois attirée pour que cela clique
I have to be attracted (to you) for it to click (between us)

20. je suis une femme douce, calme, affectueuse et attentionnée
I’m a gentle, calm, affectionate and caring woman

21. je marche tous les jours, ça me permet de me garder en forme
I walk every day, this allows me to stay in shape

22. les hommes mariés ou ceux sans photo, c’est non!
married men or those without a photo are a no!

23. j’ai une bonne écoute
I’m a good listener

24. je suis doué avec mes mains
I’m good with my hands

25. j’aime beaucoup lire, écrire et chanter en coupant mon gazon
I really like to read, write and sing while cutting my lawn

26. j’ai un pied-à-terre en campagne
I’ve got a pied-à-terre in the country

Pied-à-terre is pronounced pié-à-terre or pié-t’à-terre; it’s a secondary residence for occasional use. In the sense of “in the countryside,” you’ll come across the expressions à la campagne and en campagne, but some resources (like the BDL here) say that en campagne should only refer to being in a publicity campaign, electoral campaign, etc., and à la campagne to being in the countryside. The author of this example sentence didn’t follow this convention.

27. je ne me prend pas trop au sérieux
I don’t take myself too seriously

28. j’aime me perdre dans mes idées
I like to get lost in my thoughts

29. je ne veux pas quelqu’un de trop collant!
I don’t want someone who’s too clingy!

30. j’aime ça quand ça bouge
I like action

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In the last post, we looked at 10 words and expressions common to both Belgian and Québécois French.

This time, let’s do the same with Swiss French. A word or expression used in Swiss French is called a helvétisme.

I’ve referred to the Usito dictionary again. In it, there’s a list of helvétismes prepared by André Thibault. I’ve pulled 7 words from the list of helvétismes that also happen to be used in Québécois French.

Just like the shared Belgian-Québécois words and expressions, these shared Swiss-Québécois words may be heard in other French-speaking areas as well, not just in Switzerland and Québec.


1. une mitaine
a mitten (the fingers aren’t separated in a mitten like they are in a glove)

2. une trâlée
a heap, slew, large amount (ex., une trâlée d’enfants)

3. un soûlon, une soûlonne
a drunk

4. trempe
soaking wet (ex. chemise trempe de sueur)


5. une camisole
a sleeveless undershirt, tank top

6. un bec
a kiss, peck (ex., un bec sur la joue)

7. une case postale, C.P.
a post-office box (ex., C.P. 2500, in an address)

Like Belgian and Québécois French, Swiss French also uses le déjeuner (breakfast), le dîner (lunch) and le souper (supper) as the names of the three meals of the day.

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