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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French expression of the day: Salut les gars

This French expression is for all the brave little men out there.

French Expression of the Day: Salut les gars
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know salut les gars?

Because it’s a nice, if informal, way to address a group of people. 

What does it mean?

Salut les gars (pronounced Sal-ooh leh gar) is a greeting that means “hi guys”. 

Mon gars, which directly translates as ‘my boy’, is a term of endearment similar to “buddy”, “pal” or “mate”, just like mon pote (my pal) or mon copain.

Unlike mon pote/ma pote and mon copain/ma copine, however, mon gars doesn’t have a female version and only works on blokes – except in its plural form, les gars, which means ‘guys’ and can used on either gender.

“Guy” is also the English term for gars, according to French online dictionary L’Internaute.

However gars, which is short for garçon, has a slightly richer meaning in that it is both a way to show affection and provide comfort or encouragement. (L’Internaute describes gars as un brave type – a brave fellow).

READ ALSO: Language of love – 15 of the best French phrases for lovers and friends

If your buddy just got dumped by his girlfriend, you could say, ça va aller, mon gars – you’ll be alright, mate.

Or, if your son just scored his first goal on the football field, you can shout, bravo mon gars ! – bravo son!

However, the plural version – les gars – is less specific and means simply “guys”: On y va, les gars ? – Let’s go guys?

Use it like this

Salut les gars – Hi guys 

Allez, mon gars ! – Come on, fella!

Ca va, mon gars ? – You alright, mate?

Mon gars, j’ai rencontré une fille hier et je n’arrive pas à me concentrer. – Mate, I met girl yesterday and I can’t concentrate.

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Un de ces quatres

The perfect response to that invitation you don't really want to say a firm yes to.

French Expression of the Day:  Un de ces quatres

Why do I need to know un de ces quatres?

Because you will probably hear this phrase while trying to make plans with someone in French

What does it mean?

Un de ces quatres – usually pronounced uhn duh say cat-truhs – translates exactly to “one of these fours.” If taken literally the phrase really does not make any sense in French or English. But in actuality, it means “one of these days,” “at some point,” or just “soon.”

This expression is a shortening of “one of these four mornings to come,” which was first used in the second half of the 19th century. It designates a time that is sometime in the near future, but still rather indeterminate.

In French, the number ‘four’ is often used in expressions to refer to imprecise, or small, quantities. Some people say this is because four is the number for the seasons and cardinal points (North, South, East, West), so saying ‘one of these four’ shows a level of ambiguity. But unfortunately we don’t really know exactly how (or why) this phrase arose.

If you want another way of saying this, you can always stick with the regular “un de ces jours” (one of these days).

Use it like this

J’ai été tellement occupée ces derniers temps mais nous devrons prendre un verre un de ces quatres. – I’ve been so busy lately, but we have to grab a drink one of these days.

Il m’a dit qu’il nettoierait la salle de bain un de ces quatres, donc je suppose que ça n’a pas encore été fait. – He told me he would clean the bathroom one of these days, so I guess it hasn’t been done yet.

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