épine
boussole

tomber

French scooter / Mobylette / moped (c) Kristin Espinasse Leaves falling in the village of Grimaud, near St. Tropez

tomber (tohn-bay) verb
  1. to fall; to come down; to go down; to hang

........

Listen:
Hear my daughter Jackie pronounce the word "tomber": Download tomber.wav

.....................
Expressions:
tomber amoureux = to fall in love
tomber malade = to fall ill
tomber par terre = to fall down
tomber dans les pommes = to faint
tomber à l'eau = to not pan out (plans)
tomber pile = to arrive at the right moment (event)

........................
Citation du Jour:
L'arbre se sauve en faisant tomber ses feuilles.
The tree saves itself by letting its leaves fall.
--Pierre Jean Jouve

......................................
A Day in a French Life...

While the grapevines beyond our salon's* window are choking the vert* out of their feuilles* and the kaki tree's leaves are changing from avocado green to tomato red and aubergine, there are other signs of fall in our neck of the leaf-spurning French woods...

Fall is here when I see the woman collecting fenouil* by the side of the country road. "Pour les escargots," for the snails, she tells me, as I slow the car and roll down my window to chat. She'll add thyme, she explains, to the fenouil and serve up this gut-cleansing last supper to some unsuspecting gastropods before plunging the slow travelers into a deceptive stovetop jacuzzi. Garlic butter and persil* to follow...

Autumn has arrived when les coups de feu* echo daily in the garrigue* behind our village. While the camouflage-sporting chasseurs* are hard to spot, the mushroom hunters aren't, with their wicker baskets full of girolles* and cèpes,* the earth still clinging to the mushrooms' spongy feet.

I know it is fall chez nous* by the way my husband begins to snub rosé in favor of more complex red wines, which warm the French soul at the end of a chilly journée.* And fall is here when the moustique* plugs are removed from the sockets and couettes* are thrown over the beds as I tuck the kids in and answer their favorite fall question: "How many days left, maman,* until les Vacances de la Toussaint?"*

(For the record, seven days left until fall break!)

................................................................................................................
*References: le salon (m) = living room; vert(e) = green; la feuille (f) = leaf; le fenouil (m) = fennel; le persil (m) = parsley; le coups de feu (m) = gunfire; la garrigue (f) = Mediterranean scrubland; le chasseur (chasseuse) = hunter; la girolle (f) = chanterelle (mushroom); le cèpe (m) = boletus or porcini mushroom; chez nous = at our place; la journée (f) = day; le moustique (m) = mosquito; la couette (f) = comforter or duvet; la maman (f) = mom; les Vacances de la Toussaint = All Saints Day Vacation

Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution is vivement appréciée! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥Send the amount of your choice

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle