There are some weird sentences in this part…

"How many recipes does he have left?" "He lives inside an apple" "Where do we live?" "she contributes to eating the meat."

I am not arguing that there are no conceivable situations in which these sentences could come up, but one cannot but remain puzzled if one hears them the first time...

July 13, 2012


I remember my father bought a learning French book in Paris in 1962. It was called "Assimil" - to assimilate or take in, and it contained the phrase: "La plume de ma tante est dans le jardin avec Pierre". It means: "My aunt's quill pen is in the garden with Pierre." I doubt I would ever need this phrase in a million years, but I can still remember it perfectly after 50 years. Often the strangest sentences are the ones that students remember best.

July 13, 2012

My dad also taught me my first sentences in French and they also involved that very "plume". I quoted them to my French teacher on my first day of class and have never forgotten them. "La plume de ma tante est sur le bureau de mon oncle et le singe est dans l'arbre!"

June 23, 2013

OK I'm half way there I think... The pen of my aunt on the desk of my uncle and the monkey is in the ......?

December 10, 2013

My aunt's pen is on my uncle's desk and the monkey is in the tree!

Oh heavens, un chien et un singe dans l'arbre!! ░░░░░░░░░▄░░░░░░░░░░░░░░▄ ░░░░░░░░▌▒█░░░░░░░░░░░▄▀▒▌ ░░░░░░░░▌▒▒█░░░░░░░░▄▀▒▒▒▐ ░░░░░░░▐▄▀▒▒▀▀▀▀▄▄▄▀▒▒▒▒▒▐ ░░░░░▄▄▀▒░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒█▒▒▄█▒▐ ░░░▄▀▒▒▒░░░▒▒▒░░░▒▒▒▀██▀▒▌ ░░▐▒▒▒▄▄▒▒▒▒░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▀▄▒▒▌ ░░▌░░▌█▀▒▒▒▒▒▄▀█▄▒▒▒▒▒▒▒█▒▐ ░▐░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▌██▀▒▒░░░▒▒▒▀▄▌ ░▌░▒▄██▄▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒░░░░░░▒▒▒▒▌ ▌▒▀▐▄█▄█▌▄░▀▒▒░░░░░░░░░░▒▒▒▐ ▐▒▒▐▀▐▀▒░▄▄▒▄▒▒▒▒▒▒░▒░▒░▒▒▒▒▌ ▐▒▒▒▀▀▄▄▒▒▒▄▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒░▒░▒░▒▒▐ ░▌▒▒▒▒▒▒▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒▒░▒░▒░▒░▒▒▒▌ ░▐▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒░▒░▒░▒▒▄▒▒▐ ░░▀▄▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒░▒░▒░▒▄▒▒▒▒▌ ░░░░▀▄▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▄▄▄▀▒▒▒▒▄▀ ░░░░░░▀▄▄▄▄▄▄▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒▄▄▀ ░░░░░░░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒

December 16, 2013

I enjoy the "He lives inside an apple" sentence.

July 13, 2012

maybe it is a worm :-)

June 18, 2013

It's like James and the Giant Peach, only different.

July 22, 2013

Yes, exactly. I didn’t say anything against living in a pear or orange. Grapefruits, Mangos are also still ok, but in an apple? Come on, you’ve got to be kidding. This is ridiculous. One has to draw a line somewhere.

November 4, 2012

Sigh. I see now that you're right. I didn't even consider those options. Now, no doctors will see me because of my living arrangement. I thought about living in a chaussure, but I would have so many enfants, I wouldn't know what to do!! =(

November 5, 2012

At least we'll all be well placed if we ever find ourselves somewhere that the unit of currency is the chicken!

June 3, 2013

I wondered about that owing a chicken thing. It's pretty clear to me that Duo owes me some owls and I don't want any of those ones that are crying all the time. I already have too many of those.

June 11, 2013

That last words of Socrates are reported to have been something about his outstanding debt in chickens; so, this appears to have, at least sometimes, been the case in Ancient Greece.

August 9, 2013

Haha, this is funny :)

June 19, 2013

You, sir, made my day.

January 3, 2014

Lcc, are you implying that you are too good to live inside an apple?! People can be so arrogant these days. ^_~

As someone who lives inside an apple, I can attest that the only danger in my living situation is that the center of my house (the apple seeds) contains cyanide.

November 2, 2012

I quite enjoy grammatically correct nonsense now and again, not so often as here. These are the relevant pants for this shirt Where are your eyes? I wonder if it would be possible to write a story using sentences like these?

July 14, 2012

"She rolls well."

March 5, 2013

I liked "Tu joues avec les poissons."

May 14, 2013

me too - a lesson in threats perhaps?

June 17, 2013

Right. Not as serious as suggesting someone will be sleeping with the fish but still gives you pause.

June 18, 2013

@1km I love Asterix! There's also a great book called A Year in the Merde that has a whole recurring subplot about that phrase--the main character is a British guy who moves to France and is completely confused by it.

July 14, 2012

Thank you for mentioning that book. I hadn't heard of it, but now I've bought a copy.

April 5, 2013

@Kamelia are you suggesting that you may be cohabiting with a worm?

November 16, 2012

At least it makes for fun learning.. The sillier the word in a context, the faster you learn :)

February 11, 2013

Good point!

February 18, 2014

Funny but not as funny as this

August 2, 2013

That was very good. He seems to have a good command of the language.

October 10, 2013

come on "elle rend notre cochon" wins, sans doute ;)

December 16, 2013

@Mizotte My favorite play, La Cantatrice Chauve or The Bald Soprano, is exactly that. It's pretty hilarious and not that hard to read in French, and apparently it was inspired by the Assimil books that 1km mentioned.

July 14, 2012

@anomalocaris - Thank you for that. You have reminded me that other Assimil phrases have been parodied, notably "Mon tailleur est riche." on page 9 of Astérix Chez les Bretons. All the French Astérix are a good read if you like plays on words. Not sure how well known they are in the Americas, but it might surprise US readers to know that the author Goscinny worked with the same group of cartoonists that went on to form "Mad" magazine.

July 14, 2012

DON'T JUDGE ME! In a parallel universe, YOU are weird for NOT cohabiting with a worm, Soupcatcher.

November 18, 2012

If you want to write creatively in French, they can be a great muse!

Although the flipside is that when you hear them, they sound so absurd that you are sure that you're completely mis-hearing or mis-reading. Every now and again though, they're just fun.

May 4, 2013

"He belongs to my uncle". I thought slavery had been abolished :)

May 11, 2013

peut-etre un chien?

July 10, 2013

Every time I practice this section, I see this discussion and the title really bugs me. It just sounds the wrong way round. Is learning another language turning me into a massive pedant?

October 11, 2013


October 11, 2013

You're my hero.

October 11, 2013

He lives inside an apple = Il habite dans une pomme. But: il could be translated as both he and it.

So, this could be the answer to "Où est-ce que le ver habite?" -> "Il habite dans une pomme"

November 12, 2013

I wonder if it's a test to see if we really understand what is being said/written. When I have to write out a phrase spoken in French, it often happens that I can't make out the first two or three words and have to resort to the full slowdown.

Maybe it's practice for understanding native speakers who often do not speak as clearly as we might wish.

July 13, 2012

Thanks to everyone for your fun suggestions!

July 14, 2012

I always think of it as just ways to be practicing the verbs... but yeah, they have many bizarre sentences...

June 28, 2013

Amen! I owe a chicken?

August 13, 2013
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