Französisch-Lektionen

Themen

Just Kidding!

The verb se moquer is used in two recent videos, in two slightly different senses:

 

Et il n'est pas le seul à se moquer.

And he's not the only one making fun.

Caption 40, d'Art d'Art - "Impression, soleil levant" - Monet

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Non mais tu te moques de moi?

No but are you kidding me?

Caption 61, Le Jour où tout a basculé - Ma fille et mon mari se sont fait berner

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Se moquer means to make or poke fun, or to kid. If it takes an object, as in the second example, you have to add de after it (to make fun of someone). It's cognate with "to mock" in English, and can also have that sense, depending on context: 

 

Se moquer gentiment de personnages célèbres est très courant

Gently mocking famous people is very common

pendant la période de carnaval.

during the carnival period.

Caption 20, Le saviez-vous? - Le carnaval en France

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But se moquer has another meaning that isn't quite as obvious. It's the verb you use when you don't care about something, or more precisely, when you couldn't care less:

 

Je me moque des règles. 

I couldn't care less about the rules.

 

In more informal speech, se ficher is often used instead of se moquer in most of its senses:

 

On se fiche de nous ou quoi?

Are you kidding us or what?

Caption 5, Actus Quartier - Devant la SNCF

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Je me fiche des règles.

I couldn't care less about the rules.

 

Another way of saying "to make/poke fun" is taquiner (to tease):

 

Ne taquine pas ta sœur.

Don't tease your sister.

 

There are a few other verbs for "to kid" in French. If you want to say "I'm kidding" or "just kidding," use plaisanter or rigoler:

 

Je plaisante, pas du tout.

I'm kidding, not at all.

Caption 22, Elisa et Mashal - Mon chien Roméo

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Je ne ferai pas l'idiote. Non, je rigole.

I will not act like an idiot. No, I'm kidding.

Caption 52, Margaux et Manon - Conjugaison du verbe faire

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Rigoler is an informal synonym of rire (to laugh). So you can think of je rigole as "I'm just having a laugh." Plaisanter, the verb form of une plaisanterie (a joke), means "to joke" or "joke around." So je plaisante is more along the lines of "I'm just joking around."

 

If you want to say "you're kidding," as an exclamation, you can say, Tu plaisantes! Or, you can even just say, Tu parles! (literally, "You're talking!")

 

Tu parles. Impôts?

You're kidding. Taxes?

Caption 37, Patricia - Pas de crédit dans le monde des clones

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And for the phrase "no kidding," you can use the phrase sans blague (no joke). For more on that and other joke-related expressions, see our lesson Telling Jokes in French.

 

Vocabulary

Getting the Facts Straight

In her new sci-fi series Pas de crédit dans le monde des clones, Patricia imagines a dystopian future in which all credit card companies have merged into one:

 

Du fait de nombreuses fusions, il ne reste plus qu'une société anonyme de cartes de crédit.

Because of many mergers, there remains only one limited liability credit card company.

Caption 15, Patricia - Pas de crédit dans le monde des clones - Part 1

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Du fait de is one of several French expressions that mean "because" (you can learn more about these expressions in our past lesson on the topic). It's also one of many expressions featuring the word fait, which you might recognize as a conjugation of the verb faire (to make, to do). But fait is also a noun meaning "fact"—du fait de literally means "from the fact of." In this lesson, we'll review some other "fact"-based expressions in French. 

 

Patricia uses a similar expression to du fait de earlier on in her video—de ce fait(therefore, literally "from this fact"):

 

De ce fait, toutes les procédures de paiement sont réalisées sans argent physique.

Therefore, all payment procedures are performed without physical money.

Caption 13, Patricia - Pas de crédit dans le monde des clones - Part 1

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Now that you know that fait means "fact," you can probably guess what en fait means. Alessandro uses it when interviewing a flea market vendor: 

 

Vous, c'est une véritable passion que vous partagez tous les jours en fait.

For you, it's a true passion that you share every day, in fact.

Caption 6, Cap 24 - Paris : Alessandro fait les Puces! - Part 1

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The vendor responds in the next caption with another fait expression, tout à fait (exactly):

 

Oui, oui. Tout à fait.

Yes, yes. Exactly.

Caption 7, Cap 24 - Paris : Alessandro fait les Puces! - Part 1

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Don't confuse en fait with au fait, which means "by the way" or "incidentally":
 

Ah, au fait, j'ai parlé à Vanessa de nos nouveaux voisins.

Oh, by the way, I spoke to Vanessa about our new neighbors.

Caption 22, Le Jour où tout a basculé - Espion dans l'immeuble - Part 8

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En fait and au fait are easily confused not only because they look similar, but also because the t is pronounced in both of them. In most other instances of the word fait, the t is silent.  

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

If someone has done a good job on something, you can say, Bien fait! (Well done!) In this case fait isn't a noun but the past participle of the verb faire:

 

Oui, chef. Bien fait!

Yes, chief. Well done!

Caption 46, Il était une fois... L’Espace - 3. La planète verte - Part 2

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As a noun, fait doesn't only mean "fact." It can also mean "event" or "occurrence" depending on the context:

 

Cette histoire est inspirée de faits réels.

This story is inspired by real events.

Caption 21, Le Jour où tout a basculé - Espion dans l'immeuble - Part 1

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This lesson is now a fait accompli (accomplished fact). Thanks for reading! 

 

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