conversation in french between boyfriend and girlfriend

Conversation In French Between Boyfriend And Girlfriend (with audio)

Here's a conversation between Lucie and her boyfriend François:

-Chérie, ça te dirait d'aller au théatre demain?
-Ah non s'il te plait, ne m'appelle pas "chérie", je ne supporte pas ce mot!
-Ah oui c'est vrai, ça te fait penser à tes parents. Excuse-moi bébé...
-Je n'aime pas trop "bébé" non plus! Je ne suis pas un bébé, je suis ta copine!
-Et alors? C'est juste un truc affectueux.  Moi je suis ton mec, mais ça ne me dérange pas que tu m'appelles "bébé"... 
-Ne compte pas sur moi pour t'appeller comme ça!
-Bon OK ma puce, ne te fâche pas, je ne t'appelerai plus "bébé", c'est promis.
-"Ma puce"! Pourquoi ne pas tout simplement m'appeller par mon prénom?
-Bon d'accord, je vais essayer, mais je trouve que c'est un peu froid. Car moi -je l'aime ma chérie!
-Oh moi aussi je t'aime mon doudou!

Listen to the audio:

Now here's the English version of the French conversation:

-Honey, how would you feel about going to the theater tomorrow night?
-Oh no please, don't call me "honey", I can't stand that word!
-Oh that's right, it reminds you of your parents.  Sorry baby.
-I don't like "baby" that much either! I'm not a baby, I'm your girlfriend!
-So? It's just an affectiontate thing! Even though I'm your man I don't mind your calling me "baby".
-Don't expect me to call you that!
-OK sweety, don't get upset, I won't call you "baby" any more, promise!
-"Sweetie"! Why not just call be by my name?
-OK I'll try, but I think it's a bit cold.  Because I do love my honey!
-Oh but I love you too cutie pie!

Commenting French phrases & expressions

François asks Lucie if she wants to go to the theater, calling her "Chérie":

Chérie, ça te dirait d'aller au théatre demain?


"Chéri/Chérie" is a traditional way for French husbands and wives to call each other.  Boyfriends and girlfriends have long used it, but it's now often considered old fashion, especially by younger people.

Older couples often use "mon chéri" or "ma chérie" when speaking to their spouse:

Mon chéri, tu peux me verser encore du café? (honey, will you poor me some more coffee?

François uses the expression "ça te dirait...?" which means "how would you like...?" or "how about we...".  This is a very informal, colloquial spoken French expression that is used a lot when making a suggestion:

Ça te dirait d'aller déjeuner? (do you want to go to lunch?)

Ça me dirait bien de voyager!  (I feel like traveling / I'd love to travel)

Ça vous dirait une petite glace?  (how about a little ice cream?)


Lucie doesn't like her boyfriend to call her that way:

Ah non s'il te plait, ne m'appelle pas "chérie"


"Ne m'appelle pas ..." is the French expression for "don't call me ...".  

Ne m'appelle pas "Mémé"!  Appelle-moi plutôt "grand-mère"!  (call me grandma rather)

Lucie adds "je ne supporte pas ce mot".  "Supporter" has a lot of different connotations in French, but it roughly corresponds to "can't stand" but may also mean "deal with" or "cope with" something.

Je ne supporte pas ce type (I can't stand this guy)
Elle ne supporte pas de rester seule (she can't stand staying alone)
J'ai du mal à les supporter (I have a hard time dealing with them)

Lucie's boyfriend responds saying:

"ah oui, c'est vrai, ça te fait penser à tes parents"

The expression "fait penser à" is very commonly used in Spoken French - it's informal but can also be used in written French - to say "it reminds of":

Ça me fait penser à la France (it reminds me of France)

Elle me fait penser à ma fille  (she reminds me of my daughter)

Tu me fais penser que je dois poster la lettre (you're reminding me I have to mail the letter)

When François adds "excuse-moi bébé", his girlfriend protests saying:

Je n'aime pas trop "bébé" non plus! 

In spoken French, you often use the phrase "je n'aime pas trop" to indicate you don't like something at all.  "Pas trop" (not too much) is just a nicer, more polite way of saying something bothers you:

Je n'aime pas trop qu'on me regarde  (I don't like being looked at)

"Non plus" refers to the word "Chérie" Lucie's boyfriend used previously, which she doesn't like either.

Lucie adds:

Je ne suis pas un bébé, je suis ta copine!

She uses the French term "copine" which in its literal sense means female buddy, but is also commonly used in spoken French to designate a girlfriend - the exact meaning will depend on context, sometimes it's ambiguous:

Girl speaking: je vais courir avec ma copine  (probably a friend, possibly a girlfriend)

Guy speaking: je pars en voyage avec ma copine (likely his girlfriend)

An alternative and less ambiguous phrase for girlfriend is "petite copine", or "petite amie".  These, however, are mainly used by others when referring to a someone's girlfriend.  Nowadays, rarely will a French speaking person refer to their own girlfriend as "ma petite copine" (sounds corny!) - "ma petite amie" is slightly more acceptable.

Of course, the equivalent for boyfriend is "petit copain" and "petit ami".

Ironically, although the word "chéri(e)" has gone of fashion, the younger crowd lately has been using "mon/ma chéri(e)" when talking about their own boyfriend/girlfriend, though not when talking TO that person (like François does to Lucie's dislike):

Je pars en weekend avec ma chérie!  (I'm going away for the weekend with my girlfriend - now fashionable)

Again, "chéri(e)" was traditionally used when addressing one's boy/girlfriend as an intimate and affectionate word ("bonjour chérie!" = honey).  Now it's used as a noun to mean "boyfriend" or "girlfriend".

OK, let's move on.  François doesn't see things the same way Lucie does:

Using cute names with your boy/girlfriend in French

Ben et alors? C'est juste un truc affectueux.  

The phrase "Ben et alors?" (so what? why does it matter?) is very commonly used in colloquial spoken French.  "Ben" is colloquial for "et bien".  French speakers also use "oui et alors?" (yeah so what?)

Il est déjà 15h! -> oui et alors?  (it's 3pm already -> yes so what?)

Français adds "c'est juste un truc affectueux", where "truc" stands for "thing".  Here he really means "une expression affectueuse".

C'est un truc qu'on dit souvent (it's a thing people say a lot)

C'est un truc mal elevé (it's a rude thing)

François then goes:

Moi je suis ton mec, mais ça ne me dérange pas que tu m'appelles "bébé"... 

Notice he uses "ton mec" which is another expression for boyfriend. Literally "mec" means "man", "guy", or "dude".  When used with a possessive adjective, it means boyfriend:

Lui c'est son mec? (he's her boyfriend?)

Comment va ton mec? (how's your boyfriend?)

"Je suis ton mec" is a more "manly" expression than "je suis ton petit copain" for example.

To tell his girlfriend he doesn't mind her calling him "bébé" he uses the phrase "ça ne me dérange pas que...":

Ça ne me dérange vraiment pas que tu dormes ici ce soir  (I really don't mind your sleeping here tonight)

Ça ne te dérange pas qu'ìl pleuve? (you don't mind that it's raining?)

Lucie replies saying:

Ne compte pas sur moi pour t'appeller comme ça!

The French expression "ne compte pas sur moi pour..." is commonly used to mean not to expect a person to do something:

Ne compte pas sur elle pour te prêter de l'argent!  (don't count on her to lend you money)

Ne compte pas sur tes parents pour t'héberger  (don't count on your parents to host you)

In our dialogue, Lucie refuses to call her boyfriend "bébé".  François doesn't get offended and even promises not to call her that either:


je ne t'appelerai plus "bébé", c'est promis.

"C'est promis" or "Promis!"  is very commonly used in French:

Je ne le referai plus, c'est promis!  (I won't do it again, promise!)

Je n'oublierai pas, promis! (I won't forget, promise!)

Before that, François says:

Bon OK ma puce, ne te fâche pas

which means "don't get upset", "don't get mad".

Lucie doesn't like that cute name her boyfriend is using, "ma puce", any better. It literally means "my flea" but is extremely commonly used
in spoken French as an affectionate word when talking to a little girl or a woman.  It's meant as cute (a flea is tiny thus cute) and is often used when talking to a girlfriend (but not a boyfriend!)

"Ma puce"! Pourquoi ne pas tout simplement m'appeller par mon prénom?

Notice the structure "pourquoi ne pas tout simplement..." which is a common French way to suggest an obvious solution to a problem - in this case calling Lucie by her name.  Examples:

Pourquoi ne pas tout simplement utiliser un marteau? (why not simply use a hammer?)

Pourquoi ne pas tout simplement partir une heure plus tôt? (why not just leave an hour earlier?)

Reaching an agreement

François is ready to try to do that to make his girlfriend happy:

Bon d'accord, je vais essayer

Other common examples:

Je vais essayer de faire vite (I'll try to be fast)

Il va essayer de la rattraper (he's going to try to catch up with her)

However, François would prefer to use cute names to show his love for his girlfriend, as merely calling her by her name feels a little cold, heartless:

mais je trouve que c'est un peu froid. Car moi je l'aime ma chérie!

Notice how he refers to his girlfriend in the 3d person: "je l'aime", reflecting some degree of shyness in expressing his feelings.  He also uses "ma chérie", which here may be in the "modern" sense, as in "my girlfriend".

Oh moi aussi je t'aime mon doudou!

Lucie's last response is unexpectedly affectionate.  Suprisingly, while she insists on her boyfriend not using cute names when taking to her, she calls him "mon doudou",  a cute name French lovers use a lot.  "Doudou" evokes sweetness (doux = sweet) and a "doudou" also designates a little child's favorite teddy bear.

As it turns out, the language of love is hard to avoid, particularly in French.  You can check out this video lesson "the eyes of love" for more on the topic 🙂

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