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Transfert s01e22, Quiz 37: quoi

    Can you catch all 7 filler words in this clip of 36 words? That’s basically 20% filler words and might be more common than your teacher will let you believe in fast spoken French. This demonstrates how someone might speak through a more difficult topic like the death of a parent. Take a listen and…

    Learn French with a podcast snippet! This clip is is from Transfert s01ep22. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    16 seconds, 36 words
    .,. '. ',.
    Doncpartiependant.travaillaittoujours,.euh d'hôpitalsalon. s'estoccupé,quoi.
    Doncsuispartiependantmois.travaillaittoujours,biensûr.EtpuiseuhDoncavaitlit d'hôpitallasalon.bon s'estoccupélui,quoi.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from Transfert s01ep22. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    (you know)

    While there isn’t a real equivalent, I think of it like a “you know” or an “um”. Can you spot all the filler words in this clip?

    What’s opening up for you with this clip?

    The snippet in English

    Find a translation of this snippet here, how much of this did you hear?

    Donc je suis partie pendant deux mois. Ma maman travaillait toujours, bien sûr. Et puis euh … Donc il avait son lit d’hôpital dans la dans le salon. Et et bon on s’est occupé de lui, quoi.

    So I left for two months. My mom was still working, of course. So he had his hospital bed in the living room. And we took care of him.

    The above translation from Deepl

    What does “je suis partie” mean?

    “Je suis partie” is a phrase in French that translates to “I left” or “I have left” in English. It is the feminine form of the past tense of the verb “partir” (to leave), using the auxiliary verb “être” (to be).

    Grammatical Structure:

    • Verb Conjugation: “Partir” is conjugated in the compound past tense, known as the passé composé.
    • Feminine Agreement: The “e” at the end of “partie” indicates that the speaker is female. For a male speaker, it would be “je suis parti.”


    • “Je suis partie tôt de la fête.” (I left the party early.)
    • “Dès que j’ai entendu la nouvelle, je suis partie.” (As soon as I heard the news, I left.)

    Context and Nuances:

    • Describing Departure: “Je suis partie” is used to describe the action of leaving a place or situation.
    • Emphasis on Completed Action: The passé composé tense is used to emphasize that the action has been completed.
    • Personal Narration: It’s commonly used in personal narratives and storytelling to describe past events.

    Cultural Notes:

    • In French, verbs like “partir” that involve movement are typically conjugated with “être” as the auxiliary verb in compound tenses. The agreement of the past participle with the gender and number of the subject is a key feature of French grammar.


    “Je suis partie” means “I left” in French and is used to describe a completed action of leaving. It is the feminine form in the passé composé tense, showing agreement with the subject. This phrase is a fundamental structure in French for narrating past events, especially in personal stories or descriptions.

    What does “pendant” mean?

    “Pendant” is a commonly used French preposition that translates to “during” or “for” in English when referring to the duration of time. It is used to indicate the length of time an action or event lasts.


    1. “Pendant deux heures”: “For two hours.”
    2. “J’ai étudié pendant toute la journée.”: “I studied for the whole day.”


    • “Pendant” is versatile and can be used in a wide variety of contexts, from everyday conversations to more formal writing.
    • It is often followed by a time expression (like “une heure,” “la nuit,” “le cours”).

    Comparing with Other Words for Duration:

    1. “Durant”: Similar to “pendant,” but slightly more formal.
      • Example: “Durant l’été” (During the summer).
    2. “Pour”: Used to express the duration when looking forward to an event in the future.
      • Example: “Je pars pour deux semaines.” (I am leaving for two weeks.)
    3. “Depuis”: Used for actions or situations that started in the past and are still continuing. It translates to “since” or “for.”
      • Example: “Je travaille ici depuis cinq ans.” (I have been working here for five years.)
    4. “En”: Indicates the duration it takes to complete an action, usually translating to “in.”
      • Example: “J’ai fini le travail en une heure.” (I finished the work in an hour.)

    Nuance and Frequency:

    • “Pendant” is the most frequently used preposition for expressing duration, especially when referring to a specific period in the past or present.
    • The choice between “pendant,” “durant,” “pour,” “depuis,” and “en” depends on the context and the specific time relationship you want to express.


    “Pendant” is a key French preposition for indicating the duration of time over which an action or event occurs. While other words like “durant,” “pour,” “depuis,” and “en” can also express aspects of duration, “pendant” is the most common and versatile choice, particularly for actions or events that have a defined time span.

    What does “on s’est occupé” mean?

    “On s’est occupé” vs. “On est occupé”

    The difference between “on s’est occupé” and “on est occupé” lies in the reflexive form and the tense being used. Let’s break them down:

    “On s’est occupé”

    1. Reflexive Form: “S’est occupé” is the past tense reflexive form. The reflexive pronoun “se” is used with the verb “occuper” (to occupy, to take care of).
    2. Meaning: It means “we took care of” or “we occupied ourselves with.” It indicates an action performed by the subject on or for themselves or someone else.
    3. Usage: You use this form when talking about past actions where someone was engaged in taking care of something or someone.
      • Example: “On s’est occupé des enfants.” (We took care of the children.)
    4. Subtleties: The reflexive form “se occuper de” emphasizes the active role of the subject in the action.

    “On est occupé”

    1. Non-reflexive Form: This is a non-reflexive form and is in the present tense.
    2. Meaning: “On est occupé” translates to “we are busy.” It’s used to describe the current state of being occupied or busy.
    3. Usage: You would use this phrase to describe a current condition or situation.
      • Example: “On est occupé au travail.” (We are busy at work.)
    4. Context: It’s about the state of being rather than an action of doing something for or to oneself or others.


    • “On s’est occupé” is about an action that was performed and is focused on the past.
    • “On est occupé” is about a state of being and is focused on the present.


    While “on s’est occupé” and “on est occupé” may sound similar, they convey different meanings. “On s’est occupé” is a reflexive, past tense form used to talk about actions of taking care or occupying oneself with something or someone. In contrast, “on est occupé” is a present tense, non-reflexive form that describes the current state of being busy. Understanding these differences is important for accurately conveying time and action in French.

    What do “donc, et puis, bon, & quoi” mean?

    Filler words are common in spoken language and are used to give the speaker time to think, to emphasize points, or to transition between ideas. Here’s a breakdown of the filler words in your clip:

    1. “Donc”: This is a common filler word that means “so” or “therefore” in English. It’s often used to transition from one thought to another, to summarize, or to conclude a point. In your clip, “Donc” appears twice, both times functioning as a transitional tool to move the narrative forward.
    2. “Bien sûr”: Translated as “of course,” this phrase is used here more as a filler than for literal emphasis. It serves to affirm the preceding statement and is often used in conversation to smoothly continue a thought.
    3. “Et puis”: This translates to “and then” and is used as a filler to add information or transition to another point. It’s a way of continuing the narrative or adding additional details.
    4. “Euh”: Similar to “um” or “uh” in English, “euh” is a hesitation marker in French. It’s one of the most common fillers and is used when the speaker is thinking about what to say next.
    5. “Et”: Although “et” means “and,” it can function as a filler word in spoken French, often used when the speaker is elaborating or adding more information but needs a moment to gather thoughts.
    6. “Bon”: This filler word is similar to “well” in English. It’s used to signify a transition or to conclude a thought. In your clip, “bon” seems to be used to wrap up the point before moving on.
    7. “Quoi”: At the end of sentences, “quoi” can be a filler with no direct translation, often used for emphasis or to indicate that the speaker has finished their point. It’s somewhat akin to saying “you know” in English at the end of a statement.


    These filler words in your clip are typical of conversational French. They help the speaker to structure their speech, provide transitions, add emphasis, and allow for natural pauses to think. Understanding these fillers is important for grasping the flow and nuances of spoken French.

    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!

    Can you catch all 7 filler words in this clip of 36 words? That’s basically 20% filler words and might be more common than your teacher will let you believe in fast spoken French. This demonstrates how someone might speak through a more difficult topic like the death of a parent. Take a listen and…

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