1

Quote:

— J'avoue, que tes arguments sont bons. Mais je préfère l'ambiance d'un théâtre. Les salles de cinéma manquent de charme. Ce que j'aime dans un théâtre, c'est le rideau rouge et les bruits qui s'échappent des coulisses... J'adore cette ambiance !

— Moi aussi j'aime beaucoup les théâtres. Mais je trouve que le problème avec les pièces de théâtre, c'est qu'elles manquent de réalisme. Les acteurs parlent fort avec de grands gestes, parfois ils crient pour être entendus. Ça manque de naturel !

— C'est fait exprès ! De cette façon tu t'évades, tu oublies le quotiden !

— Oui, mais quand je regarde un film, je m'identifie aux personnages. Je pense que c'est important ! De cette façon tu médites sur ta propre vie !

That definite article le in front of quotiden is what's bothering me. When you take only an adjective and precede it with a definite article, does this work exactly the same way it does in English? I mean, in English, you forget about the daily would mean something along the lines of you forget about daily things or you forget about things that are related to our daily life. I'm curious, is this grammatically really the same thing?

  • If you'd checked the word in a dictionary you'd founf all you need: (TLFi) Le quotidien substantif, c'est à dire nom (commun, masculin) a) [S'oppose à rêve, idéal, imaginaire, fantastique] Ce qui appartient à la vie de tous les jours; réalité de tous les jours. – LPH Sep 16 at 9:56
  • I looked it up in the Google dictionary. "The daily" is how it translates it. – user69786 Sep 16 at 10:03
  • Google is right if you just entered le quotidien with no further context it means "the daily" as in "The paperboy didn't come round this morning, I'll get the daily from the shop" – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 16 at 10:36
3

Le quotidien (noun) has a different meaning than the adjective, even of course if the meaning is related.

In French you can turn almost any adjective into a noun by simply putting an article in front of it. And the meaning of the resulting noun is always related (not identical) to that of the adjective. Let's take the adjective grand. You can talk of les grands as for instance :

  • C'est plus facile pour les grands d'attraper les boites en haut des rayons de supermarchés.
    Les grands refers to all tall people.

Quotidien as a noun can be two different things but it is clear in your sentence it refers to la vie quotidienne. All French people understand it without the need to add vie.1

Note that quotidien as a noun can have two different meanings. In a different context it could mean un journal quotidien (a newspaper that is published every day):

  • Je sors acheter mon quotidien.

is also a sentence every French person would understand without having to precise they are talking about a newspaper.


1 But I disagree with you about the English: "you forget about the daily", it would not mean "you forget about daily things/life". In English, a "daily" with no further detail is either a (daily) newspaper, or a (daily) help who does your housework.

  • So, le quotidien here just means daily life? – user69786 Sep 16 at 11:20
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    @user69786 Yes, indeed. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 16 at 11:42
  • In the context of the argument in the question, it would probably be good to insist on a particular aspect of daily life: you forget about the daily grind, the humdrum, the mundane. I think "daily life" (or preferably "everyday life") is a little too neutral to provide the necessary contrast with the theatre. – Luke Sawczak Sep 16 at 12:32
  • But do you understand the point the speaker is trying to make? I'm not yet so sure what they're saying. – user69786 Sep 16 at 13:59
  • @user69786 One is saying he doesn't like watching plays (at the theatre) because they don't look natural (which I understand as too far from real life), the other answers that's exactly the point, they make you forget daily life/everyday life - implying your daily problems. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 16 at 14:12
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What exactly does “le quotiden” mean in “tu oublies le quotiden”?

That means "You forget about the nitty-gritty of everyday life."

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