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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French expression of the day: Tu m’en veux ?

If you think this expression looks like an indecent proposal, you should probably read this.

French expression of the day: Tu m’en veux ?
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know tu m’en veux?

Because not knowing what it means could lead to awkward misunderstandings..

What does it mean?

Tu m’en veux is put together by tu (you), me (me) and veux (want). If you aren't familiar with the expression, it looks like it reads ‘you me want’, which could have you thinking that it means ‘do you want me?’.

However there is nothing the slightest sensual about tu m'en veux.

On the contrary, tu m'en veux ? means ‘do you blame me?’ or ‘are you mad?’

It comes from s'en voulouir, which means 'to blame oneself'. You can also use it in the form vouloir à quelqu'un, which means 'blaming someone'.

It's a golden sentence to know, especially if you're in a couple with someone who is French (trust us, it will come in handy), but you can of course also use it with friends.

If you add a ne pas there you get Tu me n’en veux pas ? – You’re not mad, right?

Note that the ne is usually dropped during conversation, so you'd hear or say it like tu m'en veux pas ?
 
The polite version of tu m'en veux ? is vous m'en voulez ?
 
Use it like this
 
Je sais que tu m'en veux.. – I know that you're mad at me..
 
Ils s'en veulent tellement d'être en retard, mais ils disent que c'était impossible de sortir des bouchons. – They're so sorry for being late, but they're saying it was impossible to get out of the traffic jams.
 
Tu ne peux pas m'en voulour pour ça ! – You can't blame me for that!
 
Je te n'en veux pas, mais je suis pas d'accord. – I don't blame you, but I don't agree.
 
 
 

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: C’est de la daube

A daube is a delicious and hearty French stew - but this expression is not something that you would aspire to.

French Expression of the Day: C’est de la daube

Why do I need to know c’est de la daube?

Because you might want to express your strong opinion on a movie/book/TV show you’ve just watched in informal but relatively polite society.

What does it mean?

C’est de la daube  – pronounced say de la dorb – translates as ‘it’s a piece of crap’ (rubbish, while a perfectly reasonable alternative, just doesn’t quite cut it) and is perfect for use in discussions about books, films and TV shows … there’s even a book about cinema called C’est de la daube (Chroniques de cinéma)

The phrase can also be used to describe things that have little value and can be discarded after use – or, basically, anything you want to describe as ‘crap’.

Famously, daube is a classic Provençal stew made with inexpensive beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbes de Provence, and traditionally cooked in a daubière, a braising pan. The question, then, is how a delicious and hearty stew came to be used to describe something cheap and nasty and best avoided.

It’s thought that this phrase has its origins in the kitchen. According to Gaston Esnault in his “dictionnaire des argots”, ‘daube’ in this less-savoury context is a 19th-century word of Lyon origin to describe fruits and meat as being ‘spoiled’, applied to fruits and meats.

Notoriously, French programmers who like the Linux system often refer to Windows as Windaube…

Use it like this

C’est de la daube cette film – it’s crap, this film

Ton opinion, c’est de la daube – your opinion is rubbish

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