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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French expression of the day: Tu piges ?

In France, it's always good to have several ways to say you don't understand something at hand.

French expression of the day: Tu piges ?
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know tu piges ?

Because it’s a commonly used slang expression, which is easy to confuse with other variants of the same word.

What does it mean?

Piges is a French word that can mean different things depending on the context, but here means ‘understand’, ‘follow’ or ‘get it’.

Tu piges ? – You follow?

The verb piger means “understand and retain information,” according to French online dictionary l’Internaute

Another French online dictionary defines it as “comprendre un truc” – ‘to understand a thing’.

It’s colloquial and not really suited for formal settings, so you would not say vous pigez ?, which is the politer version of tu piges.

Use it like this

On ne pouvons pas voyager car la quarantaine reste en place. Tu piges ou pas ? – We can’t travel because the quarantine is still in place. Do you follow or not?  

Qu’est-ce que tu ne piges pas en fait ? – What is it you’re not understanding?

Je ne pige pas pourquoi tu t’énerves. – I don’t understand why you’re getting upset.

Synonyms 

Tu comprends ? – You understand?

Tu captes ? -You get me?

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: La Première ministre

A brand new coinage in the French language that reflects the changing times.

French Expression of the Day: La Première ministre

Why do I need to know la Première ministre?

Because France has one now.

What does it mean?

La Première ministre – usually pronounced lah prem-ee-air mean-east-ruh– translates as “the prime minister,” but this spelling is different from what you might be used to seeing.

This title is feminised, indicating that the prime minister in question is a woman. Under former PMs such as Jean Castex, the masculine title Le Premier ministre was used.

Élisabeth Borne made headlines on May 16th not only because she was appointed as France’s second female prime minister, but also because she will be the first to use the feminisation of the work title: Madame la Première ministre. The female prime minister who held the position before her, Edith Cresson, used the masculine version of the title.

Feminising work titles has been controversial in France, and most titles like “le Premier ministre” have been automatically put in masculine form.

But in 2019, France’s infamous Academie Francaise, which polices the French language and typically resists any sweeping changes to it, changed their stance and said there was “no obstacle in principle” to the wholesale feminisation of job titles. 

Use it like this

Le Président Emmanuel Macron a fait une annonce importante. Élisabeth Borne est la Première ministre. – President Emmanuel Macron made an important announcement: Élisabeth Borne is the prime minister.

“Madame la Première ministre, qui avez-vous choisi pour diriger votre nouveau gouvernement ?” a demandé le journaliste. – “Madame Prime Minister, who have you chosen to lead your new government?” asked the journalist.

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