Mot du jour Podcast

Tenir chaud – French expression

Tenir chaud - French expression


La doudoune d'Anne

What does the French expression ‘ tenir chaud ’ mean? How is it used in a sentence? Listen to Anne's AUDIO.

tenir chaud - to hold warm. tenir chaud means 'to keep warm', literally and figuratively.

  • « Ma doudoune me tient bien chaud. »
    • “My down jacket keeps me really warm.”

Related: Practice expressions with CHAUD . The environment and Premium Terms . Nature and Premium . COP21 . Climate Summit – Read Along .


Try using this expression today and hear another example on FH


Mot du jour Podcast

un biffin – French expression

un biffin - French expression

frenchetc.org, learn french, french podcast, french, françaisWhat does the French expression ‘ un biffin ‘ mean? How is it used in a sentence? Listen to Anne Audio.

Un biffin, une biffine. Les biffins – the feminine form is ‘biffine’ – are the descendants of our rag pickers and thrift dealers. Un biffin is someone who goes through trashcans to convert his finds into cash.

It’s a new word in the French language. Sadly, we’re hearing it more and more because so many French people – more and more single women – are struggling financially in these trying times of financial crisis. I translate it by dump(ster) diver. I welcome any other suggestions. Together, we could make a difference in the French language.


Yay! I got 2 suggestions: how about 'a scavenger' or 'a forager' to translate 'un biffin'. Thank you.


  • « Les biffins s’étaient installés sur le bitume. »
  • “ The dump divers were on the asphalt/sidewalks.”

Related: Biffin, etc. .


Try using this expression today and hear another example on FH


Today's French

Restos du cœur – Read Along

Restos du cœur - Read Along

Restaurants of the heart - Lecture - Restos du cœur - Read along.

Avec l’hiver viennent les nuits froides. Tous les ans, la France organise l’ouverture des Restos du cœur, offrant repas – et plus – aux plus démunis en cette saison.

Les Restos du cœur... jusqu'à quand ?

C'est une entreprise dont on regrette la bonne santé et la longévité. Lundi 26 novembre, Les Restos du cœur, fondés en 1985 par Coluche, ont entamé leur 28e campagne d'hiver. Et franchi la barre de 1 milliard de repas servis en vingt-sept années. […] A l'instar d'autres associations, Les Restos constatent l'afflux d'un nombre croissant de femmes seules ou avec des enfants et s'alarment de l'apparition d'un nouveau «public» : des pauvres âgés de 60 ans et plus. Continuez la lecture ici.


With the winter, comes cold nights. Every year, France organizes the opening of “les Restos du cœur”, offering free meals - and more – to the people in need in this season.

The Restaurants of the Heart… until when

That’s a company we deplore its good health and longevity. On Monday November 26, the Restaurants of the Heart, funded in 1985 by Coluche, have launched their 28th winter campaign. And they crossed the bar of 1 billion meals served in 27 years. […] Like other charities, the Restaurants have witnessed the flood of an increasing numbers of women, alone or with children and they fear the eruption appearance of a new audience: poor elders, aging 60 and more.

Related: La pauvreté en français . Mots croisés sur la pauvreté .

Mot du jour Podcast

pas un sou – French expression

pas un sou en poche - French expression

72 Euros


What does the French expression ‘ pas un sou en poche ’ mean? How is it used in a sentence? Listen to Anne's AUDIO.

pas un sou en poche - not a coin in pocket. pas un sou en poche means 'without any money', 'pennyless'.

  • « Oh ben ça alors, je t'ai invité à prendre un pot et je n'ai pas un sou en poche.»
    • "Oh golly, I invited you to have a drink and I'm pennyless."
  • « Elle s'incruste chez nous parce qu'elle n'a pas un sou en poche.»
    • "She stays (is outstaying her welcome) at our place because she's pennyless."


Try using this expression today and hear another example on FH


About France

The compagnonne

The compagnonne


Petit port de Crozon


I feel like making up a new word today. It is the word “compagnonne“. This word does not exist in its feminine form with the meaning of ‘guide in order to improve the French language’, but it fits well with what I do during a Solo IPF.
So, this is how I became your compagnonne.

ipf hotel lunch

Hôtel à Saint-Malo

I have a somewhat academic mind and when I started the IPF – French language immersion stays – at FH my new site to learn French online, I thought I would teach French classes to small groups. Period.
Yet, back in May, somehow only one student was able to come and it changed all my preconceived ideas about teaching.
I realize that you are also interested in staying and learning French without other people. You want the teacher all for yourself And since I am here to accompany you in your pursuit of French as you like it, I will continue to offer the solo IPFs.

Last week, for her solo stay, Pam had chosen to perfect her French with me while traveling the South coast of Brittany.

I think that at first, she was somewhat anxious about her level and about the efficiency of such a short stay – one week – in France.
Well, from her first day in Rennes, she realized that she was indeed able to speak to French people, that she understood what they were saying to her, and that they were actually pretty nice to her. She also realized that despite her short stay, she would acquire one of the most important tools when learning a language: self-confidence.

having a glass

Pam prend l’apéro

We spent 8 very happy days together. We bought Henriot faïence in Quimper, we ate a kouign-amann – a Breton butter cake, the best one in France – in Douarnenez, we ate a fantastic gastronomic meal in Crozon, we followed the footsteps of the impressionists in Pont-Aven and we had our picnic snatched by the seagulls in Saint-Malo. It was really funny.

The whole IPF was a total bliss!

I hope you will also come to see me to perfect your French. Just tell me what you want to do, I’ll cook up an itinerary and a budget, and I’ll become your compagnonne. I can’t wait to get to know you.

saint-malo wave

Une vague à Saint-Malo


Ceci est la lettre du blogue d'Anne sur FH, son nouveau site.

Today's French

Practice ‘c’est’ vs. ‘il est’ – Which one to use?

c’est vs. il est – French Exercise 

french boulangere

Elle est boulangère.

How to choose between c'est vs. il est? Listen to the AUDIO by Anne, a French native.

Review the rules here. Fill in the blank with c’est, ce sont, il est, elle est, il était.

1._____________ une fois un couple de jeunes mariés qui voulait partir en voyage de noces. Allons les rencontrer. 2._____________ le premier jour du printemps. 3._____________ 15 heures. 4._____________ une belle journée. Lui, 5._____________ Alain et elle, 6._____________ Jeanne. 7._____________  professeur et 8._____________ français.


Il était une fois un couple de jeunes mariés qui voulait partir en voyage de noces. Allons les rencontrer. C’est le premier jour du printemps. Il est 15 heures. C’est une belle journée. Lui, c’est Alain et elle, c’est Jeanne. Il est professeur et il est français.

Continue here with more and translation

Related: When to use C'EST or IL EST .



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