French Expression of the Day: c’est moi

"Merci" - "C'est moi": Here's a look at why this seemingly bizarre exchange actually makes sense in French.

French Expression of the Day: c'est moi
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Why do I need to know c'est moi?

As one of the many ways to respond to “thank you”, it's hard to avoid this expression and while you might catch on to its general meaning, you might not really know why people say it. 

So, what does it mean?

As no doubt many of you will know, c'est moi literally means 'It's me' but this translation doesn't really get to the heart of why people use it to respond to an expression of gratitude. 

In fact it is actually short for c'est moi qui vous remercie literally 'it's me who thanks you'.

Obviously this is not something we would normally say in English so a better way to translate it would be: 'No, thank you' (stressing the 'you') or 'You're very welcome'. 

It's easy to use and once you start incorporating it into your everyday speech, it will add a native touch to your language. 

Of course, c'est moi can also be used in the literal sense. For example, if Daniel answers the phone and the person calling asks to speak to him, he might say: Oui, c'est moi!


Merci pour le café, Vitor, – C'est moi! — Thank you for the coffee, Vitor, — You're very welcome!

Nous avons eu un magnifique repas, merci. – C'est moi! — We have had a wonderful meal, thank you. — 'No, thank you!'

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French Expression of the Day: Faire trempette

You'll definitely need this phrase as the temperature rises.

French Expression of the Day: Faire trempette

Why do I need to know faire trempette?

Because you might need this phrase to describe that urge to jump in the water once the temperature hits a certain degree this summer.

What does it mean?

Faire trempette – usually pronounced fair trahm-pet – literally means ‘to make dipping sauce’ because the word ‘trempette’ is actually a condiment, or a dip, typically used for raw vegetables. In Canada, the dip is popular, and quite similar to Ranch dressing – a great addition to your crudités (vegetable snacks). 

But this phrase does not have anything to do with your healthy finger-food – in the colloquial sense, the phrase faire trempette actually means to take a dip – as in to go swimming.  

The way the expression came to become about swimming and not eating is pretty logical – in the 1600s a ‘trempette’ was a slice of bread dipped in liquid. As time went on people started to say ‘faire la trempette’ to describe the action of dipping food in liquid – like bread into wine – prior to taking a bite.

It became the metaphorical way of talking about taking a very short bath in the 19th century and now it’s the best way to reference the urge to  splash around for a second before heading back to the lounge chairs to tan. 

While you may  not have heard of this phrase before, you’ve definitely heard its synonym: the verb ‘se baigner’ (‘to bathe,’ but more so used as ‘to swim’). 

Use it like this

Comme la température augmente, je suis encore plus tentée d’aller faire trempette dans le canal. – As the temperature gets higher, I am even more tempted to go take a dip in the canal. 

Je pense que je vais faire trempette et ensuite m’allonger pour bronzer au soleil pendant un moment. – I think I will take a dip and then lay out to tan for a bit.