Qu’est-ce que tu leur trouves?
kess-kuh tew luhr TROOV? Click below to hear this.*
What do you see in them?
This is about those losers you hang out with. Where are they going in life? What do they even do all day? Watch soap operas? Count their toes to make sure they’re all still there? What do you see in them?
I’m thinking of the fellow down the street? Oh, sorry. But my point is the same. If you tried to translate the English word for word into French, it might sound as if you were walking around with a portable x-ray machine. Qu’est-ce que tu vois en eux? The answer would have to be ribs, elbow joints, a skull, vertebrae.
The verb trouver, on the other hand, means more than just to find. It also means to think of, in the sense of having an opinion about someone or something. Comment tu as trouvé le film? means What did you think of the film?
In today’s expression, I am really asking what you think of the people you hang out with. The intention, of course, is to get you to consider them seriously and objectively, to really see them and think about them. The indirect object leur stands for a preposition plus the names of the people, or a pronoun standing for them. If there’s only one person in question, then I would say lui, for him or her.
Anyway, let’s just drop the whole thing. I guess I was thinking about the fellow down the street. Qu-est-ce qu’on lui trouve?
*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: