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I was watching this video and at the end the narrator says "Partagez quoi!", which they translated below as Go share!

My question is why is there a need for the "quoi"? I was under the impression that the 'ez' in partagez implies "you share". Could this be idiomatic?

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Wasn't it:

Partagez, quoi!

The comma is kind of significant - it would elucidate that the quoi is just an interjection for emphasis, without much meaning in itself. This would be perfectly correct and idiomatic, although of a distinctly spoken and contemporary quality.

There are two ways the quoi could be said: with a tinge of anger to denote indignation, or softer, as in the video, as a kind of mild emphasis, where partagez, quoi is like the concluding summary of what was said before. In either case, I would add a comma, and I think it was missing from the subtitles, but not a big deal either. Also, for the second, softer, meaning, I would use the infinitive Partager, quoi - this would be better than -ez if the intention is to summarize what came before.

  • "with a tinge of anger to denote indignation" means: exasperated in English. But more and most important: this is only used in spoken French. So, if it is in a book, it would be in a dialogue. The "harder" and "softer" idea has to be given in written form because in real speech that is provided by the person's intonation. Now, who has covered this more thoroughly? – Lambie Jan 17 '17 at 2:41
  • @Lambie: me, clearly. First I watched the video, which you didn't seem to do when you answered. Then I presented clearly that there were two possibilities, which you didn't. – Frank Jan 17 '17 at 2:41
  • I think you should not do a disservice to the OP by downvoting when your answer does not even cover the main points of this use of quoi. – Lambie Jan 17 '17 at 2:42
  • Cut it out @Lambie - this is going nowhere. – Frank Jan 17 '17 at 2:43
  • The point is not watching a video. I know all about quoi in French at the end of sentences. The point is to present a general idea that works whenever quoi is used. Which is exactly what I did and you did not. I cannot believe you would downvote an answer that is clearly good. – Lambie Jan 17 '17 at 2:43
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The quoi is used in spoken French (not written French!!) to respond to a previous situation where the speaker has become somewhat exasperated.

If two people are having a conversation or exchange, a quoi can be placed after a comma at the end of a sentence (which vary in length from a single word to an indefinite number of words) when one of the speakers is frustrated or having difficulty or in some other way exasperated while trying to get his or her point across to other person. In English, the quoi can be expressed by physical gestures such as raising the shoulders and holding out the hands.

It can be translated several ways depending on the context. If, as in your case, the verb is in the imperative, Go share could work in a film dialogue, for example, but the meaning of it is: I mean share it or that [the toys, the cake etc.] I would probably have translated it: Go share it or that or them. Or: Come on, just share it [that].

Imagine you accuse someone of stealing your money on the table and start shouting. You might hear back: Mais je ne l'ai pas fait, quoi. But I did not do it. Or, it could also be translated: But I didn't do it, unh.

In any case, it is a verbal language emphasis marker and is never used in writing. It signals speech and annoyance and/or emphasis. Et bien, Dis or Dites donc are others speech markers. Often, speech markers in French and English are different.

  • this is not quite complete: there is another usage, where nobody is exasperated - check out the video, the speaker in the video is not exasperated at all, and does not use "quoi" with the meaning you describe here. – Frank Jan 17 '17 at 1:42
  • @Frank Look, your answer did not mention the crucial aspect here: this is only used in spoken French. I said it can be translated in many ways depending on context. I did not write every single possibility. I said: "It can be translated several ways depending on the context." So, at least I hit the important points: – Lambie Jan 17 '17 at 2:33
  • cont'd: spoken French, speech marker, can be translated in many ways, comes as a response, sometimes with exasperation, in a discussion, and, finally, used to emphasize whatever utterance is being made. "On ne peut pas faire mieux sans écrire tout un article, quoi." – Lambie Jan 17 '17 at 2:38
  • whatever - I wrote: "although of a distinctly spoken and contemporary quality.". It looks also from your other responses that you are truly convinced you know French better than native speakers. Kudos to you. – Frank Jan 17 '17 at 2:43
  • Of course I don't know French better than native speakers!! But I did do my master's in France at the Sorbonne on translating spoken French into spoken English. I certainly know French better than many around here know English. And just yesterday, you threw a bunch of text at me, sarcastically making fun of what I said about the grammar of spoken French, including putting in typos to discredit my perfectly good idea. Sour grapes. – Lambie Jan 17 '17 at 2:47

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