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Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 79: on va s’arrêter sur

    Discover the layers of meaning with “on va s’arrêter sur” and the depth behind “En plus du”. Dive deep into the tradition and dual sense of “souffler ses bougies”. And did you know these idioms are all used in “le français familier”? Join us in today’s quiz to uncover the beauty of these expressions in…

    This clip is from Passerelles Episode 1. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Listen to the full episode here.

    14 seconds, 31 words

    This audio sample and transcription is from Passerelles ep. 1. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode

    , ',.,, ' '.
    ça, 'arrêtertradition,bougies.littéral,bougies, 'expression 'familier.
    Maisça,on s'arrêtersurtradition,celledesoufflerbougies.plussenslittéral,soufflerbougies, c'estexpression qu'onutilisedansfrançaisfamilier.

    we will focus on

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    The snippet in English

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    Mais avant ça, on va s’arrêter sur une tradition, celle de souffler ses bougies. En plus du sens littéral, souffler ses bougies, c’est une expression qu’on utilise dans le français familier.

    But first, let’s take a look at the tradition of blowing out your candles. In addition to its literal meaning, blowing out candles is an expression used in colloquial French.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “on va s’arrêter sur” mean?

    The phrase “on va s’arrêter sur” can be translated as “we will focus on” or “we will stop at” in English. It indicates a decision to pay particular attention to or highlight a specific topic, element, or aspect of something.


    1. “On va s’arrêter sur cette partie du rapport pour aujourd’hui.” (We will focus on this part of the report for today.)
    2. “Dans ce cours, on va s’arrêter sur les événements majeurs du 20ème siècle.” (In this course, we will focus on the major events of the 20th century.)

    Usage & Nuances: While the literal translation involves the verb “to stop,” in many contexts, the phrase conveys a sense of “focusing on” or “highlighting” something. It often suggests that among various possible options or topics, one specific item will be the point of emphasis or attention.

    Related Phrases:

    • “Se concentrer sur” (to concentrate on)
    • “Mettre l’accent sur” (to emphasize or put emphasis on)

    Cultural or Additional Notes: The phrase is versatile and can be used in various contexts, from academic settings to casual conversations. It allows speakers to direct attention to a particular point of interest or importance.

    In Summary: “On va s’arrêter sur” is a French expression used to indicate that the attention will be directed towards a specific topic or aspect, highlighting its significance or relevance in a given context.

    What does “en plus du” mean?

    The phrase “en plus du” can be translated to “in addition to” or “besides” in English. It is used to denote an additional element or factor that comes on top of something already mentioned.


    • “En plus du loyer, il doit payer les charges.” (In addition to the rent, he has to pay the utilities.)
    • “Elle a commandé un dessert en plus du plat principal.” (She ordered a dessert in addition to the main dish.)

    Usage & Nuances: The expression “en plus du” is followed by a masculine singular noun (or adjective + noun). For feminine singular nouns, you’d use “en plus de la”, and for plural nouns regardless of gender, “en plus des” would be used.

    This phrase can be used in various contexts to express the idea of something being supplementary to something else. It’s a way of indicating that there’s more to the situation than what has already been pointed out.

    Related Phrases:

    • “Outre” (besides, in addition to)
    • “Avec” (with)

    Cultural or Additional Notes: “En plus du” is a commonly used expression in everyday French conversation. It aids in providing a fuller picture or a more detailed description by adding supplementary information.

    In Summary: “En plus du” is a French expression meaning “in addition to” or “besides,” indicating an additional element or factor alongside something previously mentioned.

    What does “souffler ses bougies” mean?

    Literal vs. Figurative Meanings:

    • Literal (Blowing out the candles):
      • “L’enfant a soufflé les bougies de son gâteau d’anniversaire.” (The child blew out the candles on his birthday cake.)
      • “Après avoir fait un vœu, elle a soufflé les bougies.” (After making a wish, she blew out the candles.)
    • Figurative (Celebrating a birthday/indicating age):
      • “Il va souffler ses 30 bougies cette année.” (He’s turning 30 this year.)
      • “Ma grand-mère souffle ses 90 bougies cette année.” (My grandmother is celebrating her 90th birthday this year.)

    Beyond the literal action, the figurative use of “souffler les bougies” underscores the milestone nature of birthdays. It hints at both the passage of time and the celebration of life. In some contexts, the phrase can also emphasize the significance of reaching a particular age or experiencing a memorable birthday.

    In Summary: “Souffler les bougies” can refer to the actual act of blowing out candles on a birthday cake, or, figuratively, it can denote the celebration of a particular age or birthday milestone.

    What does “dans le français familier” mean?

    “Dans le français familier” translates to “in informal French” or “in colloquial French.” It points to the relaxed and casual form of the French language, often distinct from the structured style seen in formal or academic contexts.


    • Contractions & Elisions: In spoken informal French, words are often shortened. For example, “tu es” might become “t’es.”
    • Slang (Argot): Informal French has its own set of slang words, known as “argot.” For instance, “bouquin” for “livre” (book) or “fringues” for “vêtements” (clothes).
    • Informal Pronouns: The use of “on” instead of “nous” for “we” is a common feature in casual speech.
    • Vocabulary Shifts: Some words take on different meanings in informal settings. “Ca marche” can mean “That works” or simply “OK.”

    Contextual Use:

    • It’s prevalent in daily conversations, text messages, social media, and among younger generations.
    • While it’s dominant in friendly and familial contexts, it’s crucial to switch to more formal French in professional or official settings.


    • “C’est quoi ça?” is a more casual way to ask, “Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (What is that?).
    • “Bosser” is a familiar term for “travailler” (to work).

    Cultural Notes:

    • Just like with English or other languages, what’s considered “familier” might differ slightly depending on regions, countries, or even cities. For instance, informal French in Canada might have distinct terms not used in France.

    In Summary: “Dans le français familier” reflects the lively, evolving nature of the French language in informal contexts. This form of language brings richness and color to daily conversations and offers a window into the evolving culture and identity of French speakers.

    What is opening up for you?

    Comment below with the words you thought you heard, where you struggled, where you surprised yourself, or what you thought about this clip. Every little bit inspires other learners, thank you for being that inspiration to others on their French fluency journey!

    Discover the layers of meaning with “on va s’arrêter sur” and the depth behind “En plus du”. Dive deep into the tradition and dual sense of “souffler ses bougies”. And did you know these idioms are all used in “le français familier”? Join us in today’s quiz to uncover the beauty of these expressions in…

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