Transcript of the video
Hello to all of you. I hope you are well and ready for another round of responses to your comments on expressions in French.
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Last week, I made a first session of answers to your questions in comments. And you liked it a lot. So, I decided this week to continue answering your comments.
Let's start right away with a first question. What does SDF mean? The acronym SDF in French means homeless. When we talk about the homeless in France, we are talking about people who are homeless, people who live on the street, who do not have a house or an apartment.
The next question or comment concerns the expression "en l'occurrence". What does this expression mean in French?
Just be careful, "en l'occurrence" is written with an E and not an A. "En l'occurrence" is an expression used in French to insist on a specific case. It means in this case, in the present case, concerning this precise situation. I'm going to give you some examples, some contextualizations that will help you understand better.
For example, if you're in an appliance store and you come in to buy a refrigerator, a salesperson will come up and say, "Hi, are you looking for a refrigerator?"
You can answer, "Yes, in this case, an American fridge that makes ice cubes. You are making a point.
Here is a second example, again in the form of a dialogue. "We had a fight with Isabelle." "No, you cheated on her again, didn't you?" "As it happens, no. It was she who cheated on me". You want to add a precision, well affirm a piece of information in this particular case.
In the following commentary, there are two questions. Let's start with the first one. What does "might as well tell you that" mean?
We can say "I might as well tell you that" if we are polite to the person. If you are on a first-name basis, you may say "I might as well tell you that". We can also simply say "you might as well say that", without the use of being polite or tutelary. What does "I might as well tell you that" mean? It means finally, in conclusion, in sum. I'll give you some examples, some context, that will help you understand better.
For example, I can say "I have three children, a job and I go to the gym five times a week. I might as well tell you that I don't have time to learn French".
Here is a second example, "The only dish I know how to cook is an omelet. So I'm not a very good cook".
The second question of this comment concerns the expression "c'est limite". When we say that something is borderline, in French, we mean that it is borderline, that it is not very acceptable. You can do it, but it's not very good. Here are two examples to help you understand this expression.
For example, if I say to someone, "I'm going to be 10 minutes late to the restaurant, do you think they're going to hold the table for me?", "It's borderline, but I think I'll be okay".
Here is a second example. In France, it is not done to wear a white dress when you are invited to a wedding and you are not the bride. You might ask, "Can I wear a cream colored dress? I'll tell you "it's borderline". It's not done much.
So Salam's next question is what does the expression "sauver les meubles" mean? When we say that we save the furniture, in French, we say that we limit the damage, we preserve the essential, that we will preserve what is most important. Here are two contextualizations to help you understand.
I failed my math exam and I also failed my English exam. I need to get a good grade, a very good grade on my French exam to save the day.
Here is a second example. My restaurant is on the verge of bankruptcy because of the health crisis. To save the furniture, my banker advised me to lay off half of my employees. This is the only way to keep my restaurant from going bankrupt.
The last comment that we will see today concerns the verb to doubt. It's true that in French, we use "douter" or "doute" in many expressions that sometimes mean different things, even sometimes things that are a bit opposite.
The question concerns the difficulty in understanding the meaning of "I doubt", "I doubt myself", "without doubt" and "without any doubt". We will see one by one these different uses of the verb to doubt or doubt.
The first one, "I doubt", so the verb doubt, we use it when we are not sure, when we are not sure about a situation or about someone. For example, I can say "I am very afraid of failing my French exam. I doubt my knowledge." So, I'm afraid of failing, I doubt myself, I'm not sure of myself. That was the case where you can doubt a situation. But you can also doubt someone, as I was telling you. For example, I can say "I told my sister a secret, but I really doubt her.
I'm sure she'll tell all her friends. I don't trust her.
So we can also say "to doubt". We use the verb to doubt, but with a reflexive pronoun, so "he doubts", "I doubt", "you doubt", "we doubt", for example. When it is used with the reflexive pronoun, it means that we have suspicions, we have an instinct that gives us the impression that something, a situation is going to happen or that someone is going to say something or do something.
Here's some background. I am planning a surprise birthday party for my husband. I have a feeling he suspects something. I think he's figured out that I'm throwing him a party.
In the question, there was also the expression "without doubt". You might think that without doubt means that there is no doubt at all, but that's not what it means. Rather, "without doubt" means probably, certainly, but we are not 100 % sure. Here are some examples to help you understand better.
"Do you think Ben will be there on time?", "Probably, he's usually punctual". So it's, I think, probably, but I can't be sure and certain.
Here's another example. "Do you think Corinne will be here before noon?", "Probably. She told me she was coming by this morning". So, you really believe it, but you're not 100 % sure.
And finally, the last expression with the word "doubt" that was used in the commentary was "without any doubt" or "no doubt". This expression is used to affirm that we are sure and certain of something or of a situation. Here is a small example of dialogue to help you understand.
"Do you think I'm going to pass my French exam?", "Definitely. You've studied hard, you'll pass. I have no doubt." So you are sure and certain.
That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed this video, that you learned some new things from the comments, from your questions that you left in the comments.
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See you soon.