Friday, 3 April 2009

Un poisson d'avril

I have been looking at my French desk diary, well it has a French word and a French phrase for each day. Sometimes the phrase is relevant to the date and today, the first of April, the phrase is ‘tu m’as cru, mais ce n’était qu’une blague!’ There is so much to say about this sentence. Do you know how to say I believe? It is je crois from the verb croire. It is unusual to say the past participle of croire, believed, but here is an example, tu m’as cru.

Ne..que is a negative which is a little bit more difficult than the usual negatives because we say ‘only’. So we have to go through two stages to translate it. We read the word ‘ne’ and we think ‘not’. Say the sentence again slowly and you translate it as ‘it was not..’ but get used to waiting for the second part of the negative ‘que’. Then you have to change your translation to ‘it was only’ or ‘it was just’. Use ne...que as often as you can and it will become second nature to know this translation.

It is le premier avril, and if you are an April fool then you are une victim d’un poisson d’avril. Do remember that fish is poisson and double s is pronounced s. One s as in poison is pronounced z. Make sure that you get that right when you are in a restaurant.

A bientôt

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