Wednesday, June 28, 2006


croquer = to crunch, to chew. It is a first category verb.

croquer dans une pomme = to bite into an apple
elle est (belle) à croquer = she looks good enough to eat
un croque-monsieur = a toasted ham and cheese sandwich
un croque-madame = a croque-monsieur topped with a fried egg
un croque-mort = an undertaker (mort = dead)
un croque-mitaine = a bogeyman (une mitaine is a fingerless mitt)

Thursday, June 22, 2006


un réfrigérateur = a refrigerator
or for short, un frigo

Also, the brand name frigidaire is widely used as a common noun to refer to refrigerators

va me chercher une bière au frigo = go get me a beer from the fridge

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


-asse is a suffix that, appended to nouns and adjectives, gives them a pejorative connotation. For example:

beige = beige
beigeasse = vaguely beige, dirty beige

le papier = paper
la paperasse = paperwork

une blonde = blonde
une blondasse = a [insert insulting adjective here] blonde

Of course, this doesn't always work, but can help figure out the meaning of some words.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


un/une compatriote = a fellow countryman

Handy, as the World Cup is heating up (no mention of France's game - please)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

La conjugaison - part 1

Today, after a longer than usual interruption, some basic conjugation concepts. Starting with the "easiest" verb category: les verbes de la première conjugaison (i.e. first category). They're caracterized by an infinitive ending in -er, for example aimer (to love), and their present tense goes like this:
  • je [verb radical]e
  • tu [verb radical]es ('s' is silent)
  • il [verb radical]e
  • nous [verb radical]ons
  • vous [verb radical]ez ('ez' is pronounced 'ay')
  • ils [verb radical]ent (basicaly pronounced as a silent 'e', i.e. ile the first person)

For example:
  • j'aime
  • tu aimes
  • il aime
  • nous aimons
  • vous aimez
  • ils aiment

More on this verb category on Wikipedia

Saturday, June 03, 2006


une vache = a cow

As an adjective, vache is synonymous for mean, nasty. E.g.
il est vache avec elle = he's mean to her

la vache! is an expression of surprise, admiration, anger, pain...
la vache, ça fait mal! = hell, it hurts!

And lastly, a couple of interesting expressions:
parler français comme une vache espagnole = to speak very bad French (literally to speak French like a Spanish cow)
il pleut comme vache qui pisse = it's raining like a cow pissing