French Lessons

Topics

Pas de souci!

If you have any worries, concerns, or problems in a French-speaking country, souci is the word to use to express your predicament. In the first two senses ("worry" and "concern"), it's synonymous with inquiétude

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Ne te fais pas de souci. Fais-moi confiance!

Don't worry. Trust me!

Caption 6, Il était une fois... l’Homme - 6. Le siècle de Périclès - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Alors, le souci, quand elles en font deux, c'est que si elles sont pas très bonnes productrices de lait...

So the concern, when they have two, is that if they are not very good producers of milk...

Caption 4, Ferme de la Croix de Pierre - Les chèvres

 Play Caption

 

Pas d'inquiétude. De nos jours, le pont est protégé d'un grillage.

Not to worry. Nowadays, the bridge is protected by a wire fence.

Caption 29, De nouvelles découvertes avec Marion - Le parc des Buttes Chaumont

 Play Caption

 

Souci and inquiétude both have verbal forms (se soucier, s'inquiéter) and adjectival forms (soucieux/soucieuse, inquiet/inquiète): 

 

Sans se soucier [or: s'inquiéterde dévoiler ses sentiments.

Without worrying about revealing her feelings.

Caption 7, Vous avez du talent Paulin - "Elle"

 Play Caption

 

Donc si vous êtes un petit peu soucieux [or: inquiet] de votre santé...

So if you're a little bit concerned about your health...

Caption 16, Voyage dans Paris - Cité Florale

 Play Caption

 

Un souci is also "a problem" or "an issue" you might have with something—for instance, if there's something wrong with a bike you've rented: 

 

...si y a aucun souci avec les pédales.

...if there's any problem with the pedals.

Caption 34, Amal - Vélib

 Play Caption

 

Et si y a le moindre souci avec un vélo...

And if there's the slightest issue with a bike...

Caption 57, Amal - Vélib

 Play Caption

 

But un souci doesn't always involve a sense of frustration or anxiety. It can also mean "a concern," as in something you really care about and pay a lot of attention to. 

 

Le souci du détail est un dogme.

Concern over detail [or: Attention to detail] is a dogma.

Caption 27, Le Journal Chocolats

 Play Caption

 

Nous avons un grand souci de l'environnement. 
We have a great concern for [or: We really care about] the environment. 

 

There are also the expressions par souci de and dans un souci de, both meaning "in the interest of" or "for the sake of":

 

Si une partie de Lyon a été retenue, c'est d'abord par souci de [or: dans un souci decohérence.

If a portion of Lyon has been contained, it is primarily for the sake of coherence.

Caption 11, Le Journal - La grippe aviaire - Part 2

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Finally, souci is also the word for "marigold." So while the informal expression pas de souci most often means "no worries," it can also mean "no marigolds"!

Vocabulary

Une petite enquête sur "petit(e)"

In this lesson, we'll take a look at some special uses of the elementary French word petit(e), which, as you probably already know, means "little," "small," or "short." Though it generally refers to something or someone of a small size, it can take on a variety of other related meanings. For example, since children are smaller than adults, petit(e) can also mean "little" as in "young": 

 

Mais tu voulais vivre de la musique? T'étais attachée à la musique?

But you wanted to make a living from music? You were attached to music?

Oui. -Ouais. -Depuis toute petite. Oui, oui.

Yes. -Yeah. -Since [I was] very little. Yes, yes.

Captions 24-25, Alsace 20 - Femmes d'exception: Christine Ott

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

In fact, if you turn the adjective into a (usually plural) noun, you get an informal word for "children":

 

Les petits sont à l'école.
The kids [or "little ones"] are in school.

 

But if you address someone as mon petit or ma petite, you're affectionately calling them "my dear." (You could also say mon chéri/ma chérie.

 

Speaking of affectionate uses of petit(e), the words for "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" are petit ami and petite amie (literally, "little friend"):

 

Et pour parler de ma première petite amie, l'une de mes premières petites amies est encore ma femme. Voilà.

And as for my first girlfriend, one of my first girlfriends is still my wife, so there.

Captions 24-25, Mario Canonge - Ses propos - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Going back to petit(e) as in "young," the words for "granddaughter" and "grandson" are petite-fille ("little daughter") and petit-fils ("little son"). Note that these words are hyphenated, unlike petit ami/petite amie

 

Les parents de ma petite-fille sont morts dans un accident de voiture, et c'est moi qui l'élève.

The parents of my granddaughter died in a car accident, and I am the one raising her.

 

If you're only a little bit hungry, you might want to eat something with une petite cuillère (a teaspoon): 

 

Si vous avez une petite faim, je vous recommande de vous arrêter quelques minutes juste ici.

If you're feeling a little hungry, I recommend that you stop for a few minutes right here.

Captions 12-13, Voyage dans Paris - Autour de l'Hôtel de Ville

 Play Caption

...et pour finir, des couverts comme une fourchette, un couteau, ou une petite cuillère.

...and finally, some cutlery like a fork, a knife, or a teaspoon.

Caption 34, Joanna - Son nouvel appartement

 Play Caption

 

You can also use the word to give a rough approximation of something: 

 

Il y a une petite dizaine de places...

There are barely ten seats or so...

Caption 25, Voyage dans Paris - Cité Florale

 Play Caption

 

The number of expressions with petit(e) is by no means small! Here are a few more, just to give you un petit goût (a little taste): 

 

avoir une petite mine (to look pale)
avoir une petite pensée pour quelqu'un (to be thinking of someone) 
une petite douceur (a little something sweet)
en petite tenue (in one's underwear, scantily clad)
chercher la petite bête (to nitpick) 
à petite dose (in small doses)
une petite nature (a weakling)
une petite foulée (a trot) 
une petite voix (a quiet voice)
petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid (every little bit helps; literally, "little by little the bird makes its nest")

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

If you'd like to like to do your own petite enquête (investigation), you can do a search for petit or petite to find even more examples in Yabla videos. 

Vocabulary

You May Also Like