robinet
araignée

chauffer

     Savon la roue - roue = wheel (c) Kristin Espinasse
     Soap advertisement on the side of this building in Brignoles, France
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chauffer (sho-fay) verb
1. to warm (up), to heat (up)
2. to warm, make warm
     Also: se chauffer = to warm oneself

Hear my daughter Jackie pronounce the word "chauffer": Download chauffer2.wav

Conjugation:
je chauffe
tu chauffes
il/elle/on chauffe
nous chauffons
vous chauffez
ils/elles chauffent
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Expressions:
ça chauffe = things are getting heated
ça va chauffer! = sparks will fly!
un chaud et froid = a chill
chauffer les oreilles à quelqu'un = to get someone angry
se chauffer les muscles = to limber up
chauffer l'affaire = to strike while the iron is hot

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French Proverb:
Le soleil ne chauffe que ce qu'il voit.
The sun heats only what it sees.


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A Day in a French Life...

The sun may be out and heating up the garrigue* but in our yard each blade of grass is wearing its own icy helmet. On my way to shower I realize I have no clothes to dry, so using the sèche-linge* to heat the room is out of the question. Searching for a solution I remember a tip I once received from Jean-Marc's aunt.

Marie-Claire, an editor in Paris, lives in a 300 square foot apartment. She is très originale* in all she does, from making fancy chiffon-like gift wrap with ordinary sacs de poubelle* to heating her tiny Parisian apartment with a hair dryer.

On a past visit to Paris, Marie-Claire, or "Michou" (me-shoo) as she's called, showed us a travel-size hair dryer on a shelf near the floor. "Watch this," she said, reaching down to flip the hair dryer's lever to "marche."* The whir of the sèche-cheveux* made it difficult to understand the words which followed, but when Michou shut off the dryer I caught the tail end of her spiel: "...and like that it takes just minutes to heat this room!"

Looking out the window, I see each blade of grass quiver beneath its own crystal bonnet. The frosty scene underlines my predicament of a room sans chauffage.* Feeling très originale I reach for the hair dryer, flip the switch.

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*References: la garrigue (f) = mediterranean scrubland; le sèche-linge (m) = (clothes) dryer; très originale = very original; le sac de poubelle (m) = garbage bag; marche = on; sèche-cheveux (m) hair dryer; sans chauffage = unheated

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