Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Politeness and Food

Je voudrais manger quelque chose. -- I would like to eat something.

No, no, I am not hungry right now. This was perhaps the first complete sentence I learnt in French. I do not remember the context or when exactly, but this sentence is stuck to my mind. Whenever I wish to switch my brain to ‘French mode’ all I have to do is recall this sentence.

Grammatically, this is a difficult sentence. voudrais is first person conditional conjugation of vouloir -- to want. This is, of course, considered more polite than Je veux manger quelque chose. -- I want to eat something, for obvious reason. And in my case particularly so because the upper limit of my culinary skills is limited to pain grillé --toasted bread, and œufs brouillés – scrambled eggs. If politeness can get you good food, then why not?

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