In the context of being in a café or other public place and wanting to ask someone to keep an eye on your things, what is the correct word to use for "watch"? "Regarder" seems odd to me in this context... i.e. "Vous pouvez regarder mes chose pendant que je vais aux toilettes?" but I don't know what word to use instead.

The dictionary tells me that "garder un œil sur" is used for "keep an eye on" but that seems wordier than necessary for this purpose.

I'm a pretty novice French speaker so if anything else is wrong about my sentence above, I would appreciate the correction.

Edit: I should add that I'd specifically like to know the Québec French translation, in case there is a difference.

3 Answers 3


After OP's edit I specify my answer is about French as spoken in France, although I'm pretty sure what I say is also said in Québec, I don't know if they have specific phrases over there.

Surveiller and faire attention are the usual translation of "watch" in the sense of "look after".

  • Peux-tu surveiller mes affaires pendant que je vais aux toilettes ?

  • Peux-tu faire attention à mes affaires pendant que je vais aux toilettes ?

Garder, and not regarder, might also be used.

  • Peux-tu garder mes affaires ?

Some people might say garder un œil sur but it is really felt as a word for word translation from English.

  • There's also tenir [direct object] à l'œil Jun 11, 2017 at 17:24
  • 1
    @Eauquidort That might be a Canadian, or other, use of this phrase, so you could make it an answer. in France tenir qn à l'oeil is only used for s.o. and when you mean you're watching them, so that they don't get into any mischief. I'd never use it to mean I'm keeping an eye over my friend's bag while he's going to the loo.
    – None
    Jun 11, 2017 at 17:50
  • 1
    Not a litteral translation, but I'd spontaneously say "Je peux te confier mes affaires ?", probably something like "Can I entrust you with my things?" but less formal and really natural in that context.
    – Kerkyra
    Jun 12, 2017 at 12:07
  • @Kerkyra Indeed that's something I'd say too. Excellent.
    – None
    Jun 12, 2017 at 12:47
  • @Laure quebecer here. I have never heard "tenir à l'oeil". This seems like an odd version of "garder un oeil sur" which could be a valid variant in this context.
    – ApplePie
    Jul 18, 2017 at 15:42

Watch my stuff in this context just means "protect" so any translations with that meaning would be ideal. Garder un œil is the most common used


On peut dire effectivement « Peux-tu garder un œil sur ...» On utilise aussi souvent l'expression « Jeter un œil »:

Peux-tu jeter un œil sur mes affaires pendant que je vais aux toilettes ?

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