Francés Lecciones

Temas

Si la chaussure chausse bien...

In one of our latest videos, our friends Margaux and Manon revisit their childhood for a bit by playing shop. Margaux, the customer, sees a pair of shoes she likes, and Manon, the shopkeeper, asks her what size she is: 

Vous faites du combien?

What shoe size are you?

Un bon trente-sept.

A large thirty-seven [American size seven].

Cap. 21-22, Margaux et Manon: Magasin de chaussures

If it’s not quite obvious what Manon’s question has to do with shoe sizes, keep in mind that the phrase "faire du + [shoe size]" means "to wear a size x."

(And if Margaux’s size thirty-seven seems impossibly large, note that shoe-sizing scales vary from one region of the world to another. You can use this handy chart for all your future foreign shoe purchases.)  

Another way of saying "to wear a size x" is "chausser du + [shoe size]":

Vous chaussez du combien?

What shoe size are you?

Je chausse du trente-sept.

I wear a size thirty-seven.

The French word for "shoe size" is la pointure (as opposed to the word for clothing size, la taille). So yet another way of rephrasing Manon’s question would be: 

Quelle est votre pointure?

What shoe size are you?

Chausser is a pretty important verb when it comes to shoes (les chaussures). Besides its meaning above, it can also refer to "putting on" shoes or anything that covers your feet... even rollerblades!

La chose qui me fait le plus plaisir, c’est de chausser, d’aller rouler.

The thing that gives me the most pleasure is to put on my blades, to go and roll.

Cap. 6, Cap 24: Démonstration de roller freestyle

Manon takes the verb even further when describing how Margaux’s shoes might fit:

Je vais vous prendre un trente-sept et un trente-huit, mais elles chaussent grand.

I’ll get you a thirty-seven and a thirty-eight, but they run big.

Cap. 23, Margaux et Manon: Magasin de chaussures  

Luckily, Margaux’s shoes chaussent bien (fit well)!

If you’re talking about wearing shoes (or any other article of clothing), the verb to use is porter:

Margaux porte des escarpins noirs.

Margaux is wearing black pumps.

Je [n']ai plus besoin de porter cette écharpe.

I don’t need to wear this scarf anymore.

Cap. 27, Flora: et le théâtre

If black pumps aren't your thing, you can try some of these on for size:            

les sandales - sandals

les chaussons/les pantoufles - slippers

les chaussures de sport/de tennis - sneakers

les mocassins - loafers, flats              

les bottes - boots

les ballerines - ballet shoes

les chaussures à talons hauts - high heels

les tongs - flip-flops 

les chaussures de marche - hiking boots 

les sabots - clogs

Now that you know all about buying shoes in France, why not try reenacting Margaux and Manon’s dialogue with a friend? You can go shopping after!

Vocabulary

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