Tag Archives: Saint Valentine in France

Friday’s French – aimer & adorer

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How could I not talk about aimer on Valentine’s Day?


My first French boyfriend, many moons ago, told me that je t’aime beaucoup was not as strong as je t’aime on its own which seemed very strange to me. I already knew that je t’aime bien means “I like you” rather than “I love you” but I was surprised that je t’aime beaucoup didn’t mean “I love you very much”.

I was therefore equally surprised the first time Jean Michel said Je t’aime beaucoup. I explained what I had been told but he said he’d never heard of it. Yet my Collins/Robert bilingual dictionary says that aimer beaucoup means to like very much or to be very fond of. So who am I to believe?

Il l’aime d’amour means he really loves her. Elle est amoureuse means she’s in love. Il l’aime à la folie means he’s crazey about her or he adores her. Ils s’aiment means they love each other or they’re in love. Elle est amoureuse (de lui) = She’s in love (with him).

If je t’aime bien means “I like you”, how do you make the distinction between like and love when you’re not talking about people? For example, how would you say “I like chocolate” as opposed to “I love chocolate”? Well, you could say J’aime bien le chocolat or j’aime le chocolat and j’adore le chocolat.

There is no mistake about the last one – it means you’re a chocoholic (which incidentally is an accro au chocolat, accro being short for accroché meaning addict). J’aime bien le chocolat means you can take it or leave it and j’aime le chocolat means you like eating chocolate.

J’adore is one of the expressions that you hear all the time in French so much so that it is easy to forget that we don’t use “adore” in English in the same sense. You adore your children (well, most of the time), you worship the Lord (if you’re a believer) but you can only love chocolate.

J’adore le cinéma. J’adore le fromage. J’adore tout ce qui est français. J’adore sa façon de s’habiller.  J’adore tremper mes tartines dans le chocolat chaud (I love dunking my bread in hot chocolate). You could go on forever …

If aimer is followed by mieux, it means “prefer”. J’aime mieux lire que d’écrire = I prefer reading to writing.

Love, of course, is amour but love at first sight is a coup de foudre or stroke of lightening, which is much more graphic, isn’t it?

All my love, Patrick = bises, Patrick while love and kisses or xxx = bisous, gros bisous ou grosse bises. However, if you want to say “Mark sends his love”, you’d say Marc t’envoie ses amitiés ou Marc t’embrasse, which is stronger.

In French, passion is often used to express love, but surprisingly, it usually applies to a hobby or passtime. Le théâtre était sa grande passion = the theatre was her (or his) great love. Sa première passion a été le foot = His first love was football.

He is the love of my life = c’est l’homme de ma vie but football is the love of her life = le foot est sa grande passion. Don’t you think that’s funny?

And here’s a proverb before we go. Love me, love my dog = Qui m’aime aime mon chien.

Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Colmar in Alsace – Zadar in Croatia – Saint Valentine’s Day in Paris

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In this week’s Blogger Round-Up, Carolyn from Holidays to Europe takes us to Colmar, which is one of my favourites places in Alsace, with its picturesque canals while Chasing the Donkey gives us an insider’s tour of Zadar in Croatia with it’s famous Sea Organ. To finish off, Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris gives us lots of unique ideas for Saint Valentine’s Day in Paris. Enjoy!

A Short Guide to Colmar, France

by Carolyn from Holidays to Europe, an Australian based business passionate about sharing their European travel expertise and helping travellers to experience the holiday in Europe they have always dreamed of

colmar-franceWith only a couple of days in the Alsace region of France, I didn’t have much time to spend in Colmar but in the few short hours I was there, I quickly realised why it is such a popular town with tourists from all over the world – it is absolutely gorgeous!

Thanks to its history as a major trading post and river port in the 16th Century, Colmar is one of the prettiest cities in France. Wealthy merchants built spectacularly colourful houses alongside the canal, and even today, centuries later, they ooze charm. With a mix of French (the window shutters) and German (half-timbered facades) architecture, the houses of the former trading areas of Colmar are a reminder of the heady days when wine from the neighbouring Alsatian vineyards was shipped along the canal. Read more

What to see in Zadar

By Chasing the Donkey,  a Mum & wife, now Australian expat who packed up her very typical Aussie life in May 2013 and shifted it along with her Croatian Husband and Son to rebuild the old house they inherited in Croatia & make it their home.

sea_organ_zadarBe sure to to make a stop in Zadar if you plan to explore Northern Dalmatia, it’s a great destination to spend  time in, its a great choice to use as a base to see Plitvice, Paklenica or Krka National Parks. So, what should you see while you’re in Zadar?  We’ll there is no doubt that you’ll enjoy drinking coffee overlooking the Grand Roman Forum that is over 2,000 years old and the Church of St, Donatus among the many sights – but I guarantee you’ll end up being drawn to 2 of Zadar’s most unique attractions. The Sea Organ & the Greeting to the Sun. Read more

Love is in the air: lots of unique ideas for Valentine’s Day in Paris

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

valentineWhether you’re single, married or divorced, there’s a lot happening in Paris on February 14:

Feel like a star – For Valentine’s Day, the RATP is offering you and the person of your choice a FREE glamor shot. Five Harcourt Studio photo cabins will be available from 12:00 – 6:00 pm at the following stations: Gare de Lyon, Denfert-Rochereau, Villejuif-Louis Aragon, La Motte Picquet-Grenelle and Jaurés.

One minute to “spread the love” at the Louvre: At precisely 14h14 (2:14 pm) on February 14, a flashmob will gather in front of the pyramid at the Louvre to kiss their lover, best friend, stuffed animal, dog or bicycle. Couples, families, friends – everyone is invited to share a minute of love. KISS Flashmob in Paris event page. Read more

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