Transcript of the video
This morning I received a little postcard.
Otherwise, I also bought a new little sweater.
I think I'm going to make a little snack this afternoon.
Mathieu, shall we watch a little film tonight? What's up?
I hope you are all settled and ready for this new French lesson.
If you have ever talked to a French person or heard French people talking to each other, you have heard the word "petit".
Today, in this video, we are going to talk about this very small word, but which takes a lot of space, because it is used a lot in French.
It slips into a lot of sentences without bringing much meaning, without really bringing much added value to a sentence in terms of meaning.
It is often said that the French use the word ****** indiscriminately, in all the situations they use on a continuous basis.
There is another word that is used a lot in everyday life in France, it is the word "petit".
We even use it without realizing it, it just slips into our sentences, we say it without even thinking about it.
If you also want to give the impression that you are a native speaker, that you speak French very, very well, don't hesitate to slip in this little word.
I will explain in which contexts it is used so that you too can put it in your sentences in the right way.
as I was telling you this word, it doesn't bring much meaning, it's a bit useless.
But yet, it is used all the time, all the time, all the time.
Some foreigners have already said why everything is always small in France?
Of course, you know the primary use of the word small for a boy and small for a girl.
It is used to refer to someone who is not very tall or to something that is not tall.
Small is the opposite of large, it is the antonym of large.
If you have a French friend, he or she must have offered you a cup of coffee at least once, or if you went to a restaurant in France, the waiter may have offered you a cup of coffee or a dessert to finish your meal.
When you're abroad, it can be really confusing. It can be complicated because if a waiter offers you a small coffee, you might say no, I would like a large coffee.
Yet, we're not talking about size at all. Just because I say I bought a small sweater doesn't mean it's small. When I said I got a small postcard, it's not smaller than any other.
And when I suggested to Mathieu to watch a short movie tonight, it's not a five-minute movie, it's a normal movie.
It's just a way of talking.
But why do the French use this word all the time, which is useless and adds a word to a sentence and, above all, confuses foreigners?
When you use small to qualify something in a sentence, it makes that thing or sentence more positive.
For example, if I say I had a cupcake for a snack, it makes it sound less serious.
That it will make me feel less guilty about gaining weight because I ate a cake.
It makes my sentence more positive. So it's used to make the sentence more positive, an action or something more positive.
But mostly, it's also used to downplay something. It was just a cupcake that I ate.
A small cancer? But there is such a thing as a small cancer?
At first glance, this means that you may only need a small operation.
Excuse me but can you stop saying small all the time?
So you see in this clip I don't know if you know this series. It's a series on Netflix called "Plan Coeur", which takes place in Paris. I really recommend it to you because it's a really nice French series to watch.
In this excerpt, you see, one of the characters says she has a little cancer. She says is there such a thing as a little cancer? And the doctor says, "We'll just have to do a little operation.
She has cancer and she has to have an operation. But we use small to make it seem less serious to minimize what's going on.
We use small in sentences to minimize something. So to make it less serious and also to make things a bit cuter. In France, we often say that everything that is small is cute, but we can also use it a bit as a polite way to emphasize the fact that we are not pretentious or arrogant.
For example, I'll say I took a little trip to Brazil last year.
It doesn't mean at all that I went to Brazil for two days. I can say I did a little trip, but being away for a month, it's more to not give the impression that we are pretentious that we say "ah me I went to Brazil".
Again, we decrease, we give a little less importance to this thing. For example, I can also say I bought a small iPhone 13.
You understand, it's not a miniature iPhone, it's just a way of speaking.
I'm going to say that to kind of downplay, for example, the fact that it was expensive.
So, I'm going to say I bought a small iPhone 13. It's kind of to minimize the price, to make myself feel better, but it's not that it was smaller than another phone.
To use the example of coffee, if I say to someone, "Let's have a cup of coffee? It can also give the impression that it won't last very long or if it's a waiter who offers it to you, that it won't cost much.
If I say to a colleague I sent you a little email, it could mean here it is, it's not very important.
You can read it when you have time.
You see, we minimize a little bit, always something, but it really depends on the context.
When I said, I bought myself a little sweater, well, it makes it look cute.
Or if I say, I bought a little jewelry for Vanessa's birthday, it's to add a little cuteness, I got her a little something.
That's it for today, I hope you enjoyed this video and that you understood the use of the word small.
As I've often told you, uses it somewhat unconsciously to downplay something or to press the fact that something is cute.
But most of the time, it is used as a tic of language.
Everything becomes, everything becomes small.
Feel free to tell me in comments if there are other words in French that are perhaps used in everyday life in a roundabout way.
I hope you liked this video. In any case, if you liked it think of putting a like, it is very important for me and especially if you are new, subscribe and activate the bell to not miss any video.
I'll see you very, very soon.