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Posts Tagged ‘t’es’

Here are a few more examples of French overheard in Montréal today, and that I’ve managed to remember long enough to create a new post! 😀

Y’a-tu une caisse pop?

Is there a (Desjardins) credit union (around here)?

A man who passed by in his car asked me this.

Y’a-tu is an informal equivalent of est-ce qu’il y a? You’ll remember that y’a is a spoken pronunciation of il y a. The tu after it turns it into a yes-no question.

Caisse pop is an informal abbreviation of caisse populaire. Desjardins is a caisse populaire.

Attention à gauche!

Look out on your left!

A man on a bike yelled this just before passing by some people walking on a bike path. He said à gauche because he was coming up quickly from behind the walkers and intended to pass on their left.

It’s also possible to say just à gauche! or attention!

Jus d’ananas

Pineapple juice

The final s in ananas isn’t pronounced — anana.

The letter a appears three times in ananas — you’ll probably hear the last a pronounced like the vowel sound heard in the word bas in this video (at 0:15) or in the words pas and chat in this video (at 0:20). The other two sound like the vowel sound in la, sa, ta, etc.

T’es ben fin.

That’s really nice/kind of you.
(literally, you’re really nice/kind)

Fin is often used in the sense of nice or kind, like gentil. The feminine form is fine. T’es, an informal contraction of tu es, sounds like té. Ben, from bien, rhymes with fin. (A better spelling would be bin, which is phonetic, but I use ben here because it’s the more common spelling.) Ben means really here.

If this had been said to a woman, it would be t’es ben fine.

Even though fin and fine resemble English words, they’re not — pronounce them as French words. As for gentil, remember that the final L isn’t pronounced. In the feminine form gentille, the final ille sounds the ille in fille. Be careful not to use that ille sound in the masculine gentil, which just ends in an i sound.

C’est gentil, merci!
That’s kind of you, thanks!

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In the video below, which is a car ad featuring Martin Matte, you’ll hear features of spoken language used in Québécois French that have come up in recent posts.

Give it a listen. It’s short (30 seconds). The text is transcribed below, with notes. There are a few examples of the â sound, so listen for it.

This will be added to the Listen section, along with the other clips.

Avance! Là, là, là, là. Le nouveau CRV est assez remarquable. C’est un véhicule inspiré par la liberté, conçu pour rouler dans de grands espaces — sauf quand t’es pris quelque part!

Moi, c’est rare [que] j’me fâche, mais là, là, c’est… Tasse-toi, grosse vache! Dégage! Ça fait une heure et demie que j’attends, . T’es pas toute seule, hein?

Move [advance]! Ay, ay, ay. The new CRV is pretty remarkable. It’s a vehicle inspired by freedom, made to drive in open spaces — except when you’re stuck somewhere [i.e., in traffic]!

I don’t usually get angry, but this time, I’m… [but now, it’s…]. Get out of the way, you fat cow! Move! I’ve been waiting for an hour and a half. You’re not the only one here, uh?

Pronunciation and usage notes

c’est un, pronounced cé t’un
espaces, pronounced espâces, with â
t’es, informal contraction of tu es, sounds like
rare, pronounced râre, with â
j’me, informal contraction of je me
fâche, pronounced with â
mais là, là…,
 but now… (but this time…)
tasse-toi, pronounced tâsse-toi, with â
là,
often heard at end of sentences in informal language
t’es pas, informal contraction of tu n’es pas, sounds like té pas

Related:
Ôte-toi de d’là, from entry #949

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Saw this in a tea shop window in Montréal:

thé mon amour

A friend from Central America took a beginner’s French course. In class, they learned that tu es means “you are,” but they never got around to learning that tu es contracts to t’es in spoken language.

This really baffles me. T’es isn’t an obscure contraction. T’es is a high frequency usage that should be introduced right from the beginning.

T’es sounds like (or like the French word thé in the window).

thé mon amour
tea my love

t’es mon amour
you’re my love

Oh, it’s a Valentine’s Day tea pun!
N’est-ce pas romanteaque? N’est-ce pas — oh, fine, I’ll stop.

A few essential spoken contractions to know using tu:

t’es for tu es
t’as for tu as
t’étais for tu étais
t’avais for tu avais
t’en for tu en

In short, tu loses its u before a vowel.

Don’t be afraid to try using these contractions yourself in conversations. They’re so frequently used that nobody’s going to even notice.

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