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Posts Tagged ‘t’es’

A mother in Montréal spoke with her young boy. The boy made a comment in jest; laughing, his mother retorted, “You sure of that?”

Can you say how she might’ve asked this in French?

Here’s what she asked:

T’es sûr de t’ça, toi?
You sure of that?

T’es is a spoken form of tu es — it sounds like té.

What about de t’ça?

De t’ça simply means de ça; it’s a spoken form that you’ll hear frequently in conversations. How is it pronounced? Say de with a t sound on the end of it, then say ça.

If you’re wondering now if you need to say de t’ça instead of de ça, you don’t. De ça is always fine, even when speaking informally with francophone friends. But you can also try it out, if you really want to.

If you know how the yes-no tu works in spoken language, maybe your guess as to how the mother said this was one of these:

T’es-tu sûr de ça, toi?
T’es-tu sûr de t’ça, toi?

Although possible, that’s not how she said it.

Remember, in t’es-tu, the only part that means you is t’. The tu here serves only to transform t’es into a yes-no question. (This tu serves the same purpose as est-ce que.)

If your answer to the question used tu es instead of t’es, know that you’re not very likely to hear that in spoken language. Tu es virtually always contracts to t’es, unless the speaker wishes to give particular emphasis to his words.

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Montréal

Here are 3 examples of French using swear words heard in Québec. They’re taken from Facebook comments.

Maudit que t’es beau!
Damn you’re good-looking!
Damn you look good!

C’est pas d’sa faute si c’est un esti d’cave.
It’s not his fault if he’s a fucking idiot.

Maudite marde.
Holy shit. Damn it.

Do you remember how to pronounce maudit like the Québécois? The letter d sounds like dz when it’s followed by the French i sound. (It’s like the dz sound in the English word lads.) So maudit sounds like [modzi], and maudite sounds like [modzit].

In English, you say a fucking idiot, but in French it’s un esti de cave, with de placed between esti (fucking) and cave (idiot). You can’t say un esti cave. In our example above, the de is contracted informally to d’.

C’est un esti d’cave from the example can contract even further: c’t’un esti d’cave, where c’est is reduced to just a st sound before un.

C’est pas d’ma faute means it’s not my fault.

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In the videos I’ve posted to OffQc lately, quite a few informal contractions have come up. It’s imperative to learn these contractions to understand spoken French.

I’ve pulled together a list of these contractions; there’s a link for each one that will take you back to the video where it appeared so you can listen again and learn it.

Here’s something you can try. The sentences below have been written without contractions. Try to say them aloud applying whatever informal contractions are possible from the ones above.

Je suis bien content.
Tu n’es pas tanné?
Je l’ai croisée sur la rue.
Des fois je me fâche.
Il y en a qui disent ça.

Answers

J’su’ ben [chu bin] content. I’m really happy.
T’es pas tanné? You’re not fed up?
Je l’ai croisée s’a rue. I bumped into her in the street.
Des fois j’me fâche. Sometimes I get angry.
Y’en a qui disent ça. Some people say that.

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It’s winter, and Natalie and Louis (from the television show Les Parent) exchange text messages about the salt that was *supposed* to have been put down by their son Zak to prevent someone from slipping on the ice and getting hurt…

The text from the image is all typed out below, but you can click on the image for a larger version.

grey: Louis
blue: Natalie

Attention, chérie, c’est glissant dans l’entrée.
Careful, dear, the driveway’s slippery.

C’est réglé. J’ai envoyé Zak mettre du sel tantôt.
It’s been taken care of. I sent Zak to put salt down earlier on.

Wow! T’es sûre qu’il y est allé?
Wow! You sure he did it (you sure he went)?

Ha ha! La confiance règne!
Ha ha! What confidence (confidence prevails)!

Désolé. C’est juste qu’il y a des indices qui mentent pas.
Sorry. It’s just that there are some dead giveaways that he didn’t (some clues that don’t lie).

Comme?
Like?

Moi, effoiré dans l’entrée, le dos barré.
Me, sprawled in the driveway with my back thrown out.

Viens me chercher quand t’auras fini de rire.
Come get me (find me) when you’ve finished laughing.

Usage notes

  • In the winter, we put salt (du sel) on surfaces outside to melt the ice on them and make them safe to walk and drive on
  • tantôt, before, earlier on (e.g., désolé pour tantôt, sorry about earlier on; merci pour tantôt, thanks for earlier on)
  • t’es, contraction of tu es, sounds like
  • effoiré, sprawled (e.g., s’effoirer sur le divan, to crash on the sofa; the oi in effoiré may sound like ; more about effoirer in #900)
  • dos barré, back that’s been thrown out, pulled, injured (literally, locked back; remember that barré is pronounced bârré, where sounds approximately like “baw”)
  • t’auras, contraction of tu auras

This exchange of textos was found here on the Facebook page for Les Parent. There, the page administrator asked:

Avez-vous hâte à l’hiver? 😂
Are you excited for winter?
Are you looking forward to winter?

avoir hâte à
to be looking forward to
to be excited for, etc.

J’ai hâte à lundi!
I can’t wait until Monday!

J’ai hâte à demain.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Non, j’ai pas hâte à l’hiver!
No, I’m not looking forward to winter!

Like barré, hâte also uses the â sound. You can hear â pronounced in this video when Martin Matte says j’me fâche and tasse-toi.

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Here’s a very short video from the SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) warning of the dangers of sending textos au volant, text messages while driving. (Le volant is the steering wheel.)

There’s little spoken word in the video, but you’ll still review a few things from colloquial language. This video has been added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

T’es là?
Are you there?

Oui
Ça va?
Yes
How are you?

m’ennuie
t’es où?
bored
where are you?

pas loin
j’arrive
not far
almost there

Quand t’es là…
When you’re here (eyes on phone)…

… t’es pas là.
… you’re not there (eyes on road).

es-tu là?!?
are you there?!?

T’es là? is an informal equivalent of tu es là? and es-tu là? Remember that tu es generally contracts to t’es in informal language, which sounds like té. You’ll hear the speaker say t’es when he says quand t’es là, t’es pas là.

The texted message m’ennuie is short for je m’ennuie.

T’es où? is an informal equivalent of où es-tu? Informal language avoids the inversion after question words like où, comment, pourquoi, etc., so you’re much more likely to hear t’es où? in spoken language than où es-tu?

Listen to the vowel sound used in  and pas when the speaker says quand t’es là, t’es pas là. We’ve heard this vowel sound in a few different videos lately, including this one where Korine Côté says Montréal, je suis là! and this one where the speaker says on a pas d’chat.

At the end, the texted message es-tu là? can also be heard in spoken language as t’es-tu là? (Both are possible in spoken language.) In es-tu là?, tu is the second-person singular tu meaning you. But in t’es-tu là?, the second-person singular isn’t tu but t’. Tu in t’es-tu là? is an informal yes-no question marker.

Es-tu là?
Are you there?

T’es-tu là?
You’re-(yes/no) there?

All three of these questions ask “are you there?”:

Es-tu là?
T’es là?
T’es-tu là?

“Where are you?” in informal language is:

T’es où?

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