En quoi ça te regarde?

En quoi ça te regarde?

ah kwah sah tuh ruh-GAARD? Click below to hear this.*

How is that your business?

Or, if you prefer, How does that concern you? Regarder doesn’t just mean to look at or to watch. It also means to be someone’s affair.

And en quoi means in what, or less awkwardly, in what way.

You know that rule about dropping the silent e (e muet)? You can only drop every other one; otherwise, you will wind up with an unpronounceable tangle of consonants with no fences between their property. But there’s another rule too: you may not drop a silent e in the syllable immediately preceding or following the consonant r.

So in this sentence, you have to pronounce te re- without eliding either e.

This sentence has a companion phrase: Ça ne me regarde pas (That’s not my affair). In that sentence, silent e appears no fewer than three times in a row: ne me re-. Frequently, in that situation, you would drop the first and third, or else the second only. But here, because of the /r/, your only choice is to drop the first e. So you pronounce: /Sahn muh ruh-gaard pah./ Make sense?

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:

en_quoi_ca_te_regarde.mp3

3 responses to “En quoi ça te regarde?

  1. la soeur ainee

    Yikes! what a lot of rules to remember. Almost as bad as trying to learn to coordinate two feet, two hands, three pedals, a gearshift lever, window crank, hand signal, and dare I say, the radio knob on the 1950 Chevrolet I learned to drive on. Oh well, that all got smoothed out with practice, so maybe these pronunciation rules will also, if I just listen and pronounce the phrases enough times. Even French babies can do it, n’est-ce pas?….Oops, I forgot to mention the emergency hand-brake also, useful for starting out up steep hills.

    • Haha! I learned on that car too, and got so confused that our parents agreed that I should learn on the new 1957 Chevy (automatic) until I got the hang of driving in a straight line. I was less dangerous that way. As for the French, you already have a great foundation. Keep it up!

  2. Pingback: De quoi il se mêle? | Spk Frnch

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