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What is the capital of Tunisia?

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What is the capital of Tunisia?

How do you say “buy” in the sense of “believe”?

In a colloquial manner of speaking you can use the verb “avaler”, but I believe personally it is somewhat less acceptable than the alledged “familiar” register label that comes with it would have us believe. Nevertheless it will do for “buy” as this sense of the word ranges from slang to informal in English. There is a derogatory connotation in this word, from my point of view, and it is a fleeting notion that the dictionaries do not tell of.

  • Cette histoire, il n’a pas pu l’avaler et il ne l’avalera jamais.
  • Je n’avale pas ça, vous me racontez des histoires pour les gogos.
  • Il avale tout ce qu’on lui dit, un enfant le bernerait.

Here is an essential difference in the use of this verb; whereas in English you say quite naturally “Yes, I can buy that!” or “I’ll buy that.”, in French you can’t say “J’avale ça !” or “Je l’avale”; it seems to me I never heard that and the derogatory aspect I mention could well be the reason (subconscious realisation of the fact by the speaker). The only possibility would be as a reply to a [(very) derogatory question/question asked in puzzlement] such as “(Et) Vous avalez ça ?”, when the person answering wants to make quite clear she/he does believe whatever has come into question (“(Oui !) Je l’avale !”). Nevertheless, if the statement is fully qualified positively or negatively qualified there is no problem.

  • Je l’avale bien. (je le crois bien.)
  • Je l’avale en partie. Je l’avale presque. Je l’avale mal. Il avale ça difficilement.
  • Si je l’avale c’est parce que j’ai de bonnes indications qu’il ne ment pas.
  • Je l’avale oui et non, quand il me dit qu’il croit je n’en croit rien mais quand il me dit être charitable je vois bien qu’il y a du vrai.

Here are expressions to know as they are used fairly often;

(TLFi) Emploi factitif. [Avec un obj. second, désignant une pers.] Faire avaler qqc. à qqn. Le lui faire croire.

The derogatory notion referred to above is clear in this expression: it is often considered that the story or fact that someone has been made to believe (faire avaler à qqn) is lies or tainted with lie.

Larousse en ligne
Familier. Avaler une histoire, un récit, etc., les croire sans le moindre esprit critique.
Familier. Dur à avaler, se dit de ce qu’il est difficile de croire ou d’accepter, de supporter.

Here again, the manner of believing (sans le moindre esprit critique), characterises the action as one of low standards, wherefrom the deprecatory sense of the word ; people do not consider very highly someone who “avale” stories, they tend to think of them as fools.

Here are various ways that might express "I don’t buy it" in French:


— Je n’en crois pas un mot.

— Je n’y crois pas une seconde.

Spoken French:

— Je marche1 pas.

— À d’autres2.

— Je la gobe3 pas, ton histoire. (Italians say: non me la sono bevuta: "I didn’t drink it")

— On ne me la fait pas4.

In addition, cl-r suggested these sentences that keep the financial side of the English idiom:

— Je ne parierai pas un kopeck là-dessus.

— C’est de la roupie de sansonnet ce truc.

— Ça ne vaut pas une thune ton histoire.

1 TLFi: C. – 2. b) Croire naïvement ce que l’on vous raconte. Marcher à fond; marcher à tous les coups. Vous aussi, Alvare, vous avez marché ! (Lemercier, Pinto, 10, 5, 13, p.158).

2 Wiktionnaire: 1. (Familier) (Par ellipse) Se dit ironiquement pour signifier que l’on n’est pas dupe de ce qu’on nous raconte.

3 TLFI: C. – 1. Croire sans discernement tout ce qui se dit. La petite Besse (…) était d’une simplicité incroyable, elle aurait gobé n’importe quoi (Genevoix, Mains vides, 1928, p. 136)

4 Wiktionnaire: 1. Je ne suis pas aussi crédule que vous semblez le croire.

I find antiphrasis with the right intonation would work quite well and be just as colloquial as I don’t buy it :

Oui, bien sûr!

Ouais, c’est ça!


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What is the capital of Tunisia?