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Lesson Transcript

In today's lesson, we'll cover phrases used for apologizing. Now, as you haven't quite mastered French, it's probably very prudent to go over the phrases for apologizing as they just might come in handy.
We'll start with "Pardon." Pardon. Pardon.
Let's break it down by syllable: Par-don.
Now, let's hear it once again. Pardon.
This phrase is used when you want to get by someone, when you want to apologize for bumping into someone, and when you don't understand what someone says. This phrase is quite common and you will hear it a lot in crowded places like the market and the metro.
Now, let's take a look at "Excuse me." Excusez-moi. Excusez-moi.
Now, let's break it down by syllable: Ex-cu-sez-moi.
Now, let's hear it once again, Excusez-moi.
This phrase is also used to get by someone, but it is a bit stronger and a bit more forceful without losing any politeness. It is also used to apologize for oneself in a more emphatic way than Pardon. Whereas, Pardon can be used in passing, like "Excuse me" in English. "Excusez-moi" is used to communicate directly one's apology to a particular person. Nor can "Excusez-moi" be used alone like Pardon. It always comes before a sentence explaining what you are apologizing for.
For example, Excusez-moi, je ne parle pas français. "Excuse me, I don’t speak French."
Now, what if someone says "Excusez-moi" to you? In the case that someone uses this expression towards you, the proper response is to say the phrase we learned for "You're welcome," Je vous en prie. Let's break it down by syllable: Je-vous-en-prie.
Now, let's hear it once again, Je vous en prie.
As a native English speaker, apologizing in English can be automatic. No matter what country I'm in, when I bump into somebody, I always say "Excuse me." It just comes out.
Since I moved to France, I've picked up apologizing in French and it makes a big difference. I see English-speaking tourists who still say "Excuse me" in English as if they're still home. This comes off more as an insult than an apology. So, when in France, I highly recommend adopting the two phrases we just learned and reversing the impulse to apologize in English.


Okay. To close out today's lesson, we'd like for you to practice what we've just learned. I'll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you're responsible for saying it out loud in French. You'll have just a few seconds before I give you the answer. So, bonne chance. That means "good luck" in French. Okay. Here we go.
"Excuse me."
"By all means."
Je vous en prie.
Je vous en prie.
Je vous en prie.
This is the end of today's lesson. See you soon! À bientôt!

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