se tromper

A woman's work is never done. Personally, I'll take the job of hanging out laundry... and let my husband patch up the concrete! (Photo taken in Croatia, a few summers ago...)

se tromper (seuh-trom-pay)

    : to be mistaken, to be wrong

tout le monde peut se tromper = anyone can make a mistake
si je ne me trompe = if I'm not mistaken
se tromper d'heure = to mistake the time
que l'on ne s'y trompe pas = let there be no mistake about it 

 Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav file

Tu te trompes complètement.
You are completely mistaken 

French christmas music
French Christmas Music: "Mon Beau Sapin", "Sainte Nuit", "La Marche des Rois", "Petite Ville Bethléem", "Il est né Le Divin Enfant". 
Order CD here. 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Tuesday. I am sitting on the edge of the bed, putting on my make-up. It is around 10:30 am. The washing machine is whirling; in the room beside me, I've hung out the previous load on the étendoir. There is homemade soup (potimarron) on the stove, downstairs. Just up the hall, in my office, my book manuscript is open. I left it moments ago, pour respirer un peu.

Just as I reach for my mascara, I hear my husband's footsteps in the hall. I roll my eyes and shake my head. It's just like clockwork! The minute I am sitting down, seemingly pampering myself, my better half walks in! "Better," because he's certainly been working harder than me this morning!  

Why is it that when I'm slaving away with the mop he's never around... and then, suddenly, when I pull out my mascara wand—poof!—he appears?

Sheesh. I am only sitting in bed putting on makeup because we have a visitor this morning, otherwise I might be doing something much more industrious, such as organizing the mud room (and isn't it high-time for that?!).

Mud aside, I do not like to be "caught" like this, seemingly whiling away the day. All that is missing from this incriminating picture is that proverbial box of bonbons. If I'm such a lady of leisure, then shouldn't the bed be littered with gold foil wrappers by now? 

By now the footsteps are getting louder and my husband has arrived at the bedroom door. I'm just waiting for him to react as he usually does, on seeing me grooming my lashes:

Tu vas au bal?

Only this time, I don't give him the chance to tease me. Instead, I blurt out:

"In case you are wondering, no, I am not going to the ball. You may not think I have anything better to do... but I can assure you...!"

Having accidentally stepped into the line of fire, my better half steps back:
"Chérie, tu te trompes complètement!"

He is right. I am sorely mistaken. The truth is each of us works hard and there is no need to explain ourselves or to keep a score board. I can let down my defenses and get on with dying my eyelashes... though the job might be a little less tedious had I a box of chocolates beside me. 

As for who does more around here, I imagine it is a hot topic in most households. Everyone from married couples to roommates to brothers and sisters (I hear my kids "mais c'est toujours moi qui le fait!") risks being accused of living the Life of Riley. Even if you are single and living alone, there's the temptation to blame the coffee machine for not living up to its side of the bargain.

Some believe in the Pull Your Own Weight factor, but we might do well to respect the other's idea of rest, whether that is watching a football game or sitting down for a cup of tea. I will try to remember this at the end of the day, after I've returned home from the one-hour school run only to rustle up dinner while my better half is now lounging before the crackling fire, listening to music while shelling walnuts!

How those shells suddenly remind me of so many bonbon wrappers strewn across the bed.... Ah là là, it looks like it's his turn to be mistaken for a lad of leisure!


Le Coin Commentaires 

Click here to comment on this story or simply answer this question: Who, besides you (of course!) does the most work at your home? Ever feel as my kids do: "c'est toujours moi qui doit le faire!" Read other's comments here.

Have a minute for another story? Read "Fluffy Dice" or "Trying to Wrestle a Sou out of You Know Who" !


Potimarron soup recipe? You can go all out and fancy it up (see Laura's delicious recipe), or you can do like me and let your lazybones bring out the best of the squash in three steps:

  1. Scrub the potimarron.
  2. Leaving the skin on (for a colorful, vitamin-rich soup) chop the squash into chunks (after hollowing out the inside. You might toast the seeds with sel de guerand or sprinkle them in your garden... the birds and the earth will love them)
  3. Boil the cubes in water (around 20-30 minutes), with one or two cubes of organic soup stock. Use a blender-wand to mix the soup, et voilà. Garnish with parsely--it full of iron and good for la mauvaise haleine. Of course salt and pepper and a little bit of cream and some cheese (Jean-Marc loves to add roquefort to his soup) makes it even better!


French Vocabulary

un étendoir = clotheshorse (type of indoor clothesline)

le potimarron = a kind of squash

pour respirer un peu = to take a breather

tu vas au bal = are you going to the ball?

le bonbon = candy

Chérie, tu te trompes complètement = Dear, you are sorely mistaken

c'est toujours moi qui fait tout! = it's always me who does everything!

la mauvaise haleine = bad breath



Smokey and the Sweet Potato (or "Pooch and la Patate Douce")


Nobody's looking....

How to say "busted" in French?

How to Learn French (Tip No. 58): Brush up on your English grammar... then learning French won't be so hard! Check out this book. English Grammar for Students of French. Read the reviews and order a copy!

Michel thomas
Michel Thomas method for learning French: learn at your own speed--listening, speaking, and thinking through the language. Order 10 CD program here

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