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All About ‘Bon’

Today’s post is all about colloquialisms with the word Bon. We all know that “bon” is an adjective that means “good” or “nice”, but it is also used in different ways in conversation.

Bon can be used to begin a conversation or end a thought before beginning another. It’s used the same way that “ok” is used in English.

  • Bon, tu tournes à gauche au coin de la rue, puis tu continues tout droit.
  • Ok, You turn left at the corner, then continue straight ahead.
  • Après avoir cherché un hôtel pendant une heure, j’en ai trouvé un. Bon, je suis prête pour le voyage.
  • After having looked for a hotel for an hour, I found one. Ok, I am ready for my trip.

Bon can be used to express anger or resentment. In cases like this, it would be the equivalent to the English word “fine”.

  • Vous voulez pas m’augmenter? Bon, je vous quitte!
  • You don’t want to give me a raise? Fine, I quit!

Bon + ben

Often, bon ben is used at the end of a statement when the speaker has nothing more to say.

  • Bon ben, je m’en vais. Au revoir!
  • Alright, I’m out of here. Bye!

Ah + bon = Ah, bon?

When used as a question, bon takes on the meaning of “really?” when preceded by “Ah”.*

  • La semaine prochaine, je vais aller en France.
  • Ah, bon?
  • Next week I’m going to France.
  • Really?

*When used in question form, ah bon does not mean “ah, good” even though that is the literal translation. Therefore it is correct to use Ah, bon when receiving bad news.

  • Mon grand-père est très malade.
  • Ah, bon?
  • My grandfather is very sick.
  • Really?
  • Hier, j’ai eu un accident sérieux.
  • Ah bon?
  • Yesterday I had a bad accident.
  • Really?

I hope this helps any questions you may have had regarding this word and these phrases in which it is used. As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Merci à vous !

Courtney

The Pronoun ‘Moi’

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post on colloquialisms. So here’s a new one! We’re going to take a further look into the pronoun ‘moi’ in this post.

In colloquial French, the pronoun moi is often used to add emphasis to a command or an imperative only when the statement involves the senses or personal perception. It’s used in the same way as “just” is used in English to add emphasis to the verb it modifies.

Example:

  • Regarde ça ! – Look at that!
  • Regarde-moi, ça ! – Just look at that!
  • Goûte ça ! – Taste that!
  • Goûte-moi ça ! – Just taste that!

In colloquial French, personal pronouns – moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, and elles, are used to emphasize the object of a statement and emphasize possession.

The object may be emphasized by repeating it at the end of the statement in the form of an objective personal pronoun.

Example:

  • Je peux pas le parler, lui! – I can’t talk to him, that guy!
  • Je te vois, toi! – I see you, you know!
  • Vous m’énervez, vous! – You’re getting on my nerves, you!

Possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession.

Example:

  • C’est ma mobile. – It’s my mobile/cellphone.
  • C’est son livre. – It’s his book.
  • C’est notre voiture. – It’s our car.

Have a great week, everyone! Leave any recommendations or requests in the comments. I’ll be happy to fulfill them.

À bientôt !

Courtney

French Idioms Lesson 1

Just as learning verbs, nouns, vocabulary, etc. is important to learning a new language, so is learning idiomatic expressions whose meanings cannot be translated literally. In addition to my weekly posts, I will be sharing an idioms post every week, for as many as I can find. 🙂 Let me know if you’d prefer one idiom per post, or two.

Ils étaient sur les dents

Idiomatic meaning: They were under great pressure.

Literal meaning: They were on their teeth.

The Omission of “e”

The Omission of “e”

This is possibly my first post on any type of colloquialism. In spoken French, in certain cases, the letter “e” is commonly dropped from a word in order to make it easier to pronounce. (Please note, the omission is only in spoken French; in written French you will still have to include the “e”.)

This omission only takes place when the “e” (this is actually called a caduc, if you want to know the technical term for it) is preceded and followed by one pronounced consonant.

A few examples:

Samedi = sam’di

Mademoiselle = mad’moiselle

Je te vois = J’te vois

It’s important to note that in some cases the “e” caduc must not be omitted. If the word has three consonants, then the omission would be making a phonetic faux pas. For example, the word vendredi, would never be spoken as vendr’di. It would be difficult to pronounce, and it is also unpleasant to the ear.

Here are some common contractions:

Je = j’

Je veux aller à la plage. → J’veux aller à la plage.

(Note: When j’ is followed by a word beginning with c, f, p, q, s, or t, it is commonly pronounced as sh.)

Ce = c’

Tu comprends ce qu’il dit? → Tu comprends c’qu’il dit?

Me = m’

Tu me fais rire. → Tu m’fais rire.

De = d’

Elle a décidé de partir. → Elle a décidé d’partir.

Te = t’

Tu vas te coucher maintenant? → Tu vas t’coucher maintenant?

Le = l’

Elles vont le faire plus tard. → Elles vont l’faire plus tard.

Se = s’

Il se met en colère facilement. → Il s’met en colère facilement.

Que = qu’

Il faut que tu partes. → Il faut qu’tu partes.

Remember, this is colloquial and you need not follow this if you don’t want to. Although, the more you learn French and speak it, this will actually come naturally when speaking, and you will find that utilising it makes it a lot easier to pronounce certain words.

 

I may come back again this week with another post that follows this same pattern.

Again, thank you for the feedback!

 

Merci à vous !

Courtney