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Getting Angry in French

We all know that when you're angry about something, it's better to talk about your emotions than to keep them pent up inside. If you ever need to vent in French, there are several constructions you can use to express your anger.

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Two of these constructions employ the French word for anger, la colère (related to the English word "choleric," meaning "bad-tempered" or "irritable"). As in English, there's a distinction in French between being angry (être en colère) and getting angry (se mettre en colère, literally, "to put oneself in anger"):

 

J'étais très en colère contre Harold.

I was very angry at Harold.

Caption 28, Le Jour où tout a basculé - Notre appartement est hanté - Part 6

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Elle devenait nerveuse, elle se mettait en colère.

She became nervous, she got angry.

Caption 3, Le Jour où tout a basculé - Mon père n'est pas mort - Part 2

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Note the preposition contre in the example above. Whereas in English you can be angry "at" or "with" someone, in French you're angry "against" someone. 

 

If you're really angry about something, you can use the construction fou/folle de (which we discussed in a previous lesson): 

 

Elles sont folles de colère, folles de rage, horripilées.

They are wild with anger, raging mad, incensed.

Captions 52-54, Le saviez-vous? - Les synonymes

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Besides expressions with colère, the other main way of describing anger in French is with the adjective fâché(e) (angry) or the reflexive verb se fâcher (to get angry):

 

Tu es fâché contre Léon?

Are you angry with Leon?

Caption 2, Les zooriginaux - Léa jacta est - Part 3

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Ça va, vieux, te fâche pas!

It's OK, old pal, don't get upset!

Caption 22, Il était une fois... L’Espace - 3. La planète verte - Part 3

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Don't confuse the adjective fâché(e) with the adjective fâcheux/fâcheuse, which has a slightly more subdued meaning. It can mean anything along the lines of "annoying," "unfortunate," "regrettable," or "aggravating":

 

C'est fâcheux qu'il ne puisse pas venir. 
It's unfortunate that he can't come. 

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We hope there was nothing in this lesson that made you angry! Stay tuned for our next lesson and tweet us @yabla or send your topic suggestions to newsletter@yabla.com.

Vocabulary

"Un Briefing" on English Loanwords in French

Just as English contains a large number of French loanwords, you’ll also find a good deal of anglicismes in French. In this lesson, we’ll focus on a specific group of English loanwords to French, all ending in -ing.

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Like most loanwords, many of these -ing words have the same meaning in both languages, such as un meeting (a meeting), le marketing (marketing), un kidnapping (a kidnapping), le baby-sitting (babysitting), le shopping (shopping), and le jogging (jogging):

 

Elle fait son jogging sur la banquise.

She's out jogging on the ice field.

Caption 40, Les zooriginaux - Léa jacta est - Part 3

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There are quite a few -ing words related to sports or other physical activities, including le footing (jogging), le bowling (bowling or bowling alley), le stretching (stretching), le karting (go-karting), le body-building (body-building), and le camping (camping or campsite). In case you haven't noticed, these -ing loanwords are always masculine, so you won't have to worry about gender here!       

Sometimes, these words have slightly different meanings from their English counterparts. Le parking, for example, doesn’t mean "parking," but "parking lot," like the one that was formerly the site of a beautiful hotel near the castle of Fontainebleau:

 

Aujourd'hui, derrière, malheureusement, il ne reste plus qu'un parking.

Today, behind it, unfortunately, all that's left is a parking lot.

Caption 25, Voyage en France - Fontainebleau

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(The parking lot probably takes away from the splendor of Fontainebleau, but who knows—maybe someone will find a king buried beneath it, as Richard III was found in England.)

A fair number of French -ing words deal with beauty and grooming, such as the two hair-related words le shampooing (shampoo) and un brushing (a blow-out). Note that while most -ing loanwords sound very similar to the English, shampooing sounds completely different (it rhymes with poing, "fist"). You can hear the difference in these captions:

 

Ici le shampooing, le savon de corps, et le savon menthe.

Here the shampoo, the body soap, and the mint soap.

Caption 28, Visiter un yacht - Visite du yacht

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Les brushings des serveuses se répandent

The waitresses' blow-outs [hairstyles] spread

Caption 31, Boulbar - Motor Hotel

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On the more extreme side of cosmetic -ing words, there’s un relooking (a makeover) and un lifting (a facelift). Of course, for your relooking, if you don't want to go all the way with a lifting, you could just get un peeling (a facial peel). And for proper grooming before a black tie affair, it’s always good to make sure one’s smoking (tuxedo) is perfectly clean:  

Il y a du chewing-gum sur mon smoking, donc je dois l’apporter au pressing avant la fête.  

There’s gum on my tuxedo, so I have to bring it to the dry cleaner’s before the party.

And don't forget that if you ever get du chewing-gum in your hair, you can wash it out with du shampooing!  

Keep on the lookout for some other -ing anglicismes in your Yabla French studies and see how similar or different their meanings are to their English source words. You can use this helpful WordReference forum thread as a guide.  

Vocabulary

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