cut a chicken...

charlie2

Senior Member
Hi, everyone,
The other day I asked someone to cut a chicken in halves along the following line, I think :
Pourriez vous découper le poulet en moitié pour moi?
It worked! But is it correct?
My question is when do we couper and when do we découper?

When the next occasion arose, I tried to strike two. This time I was sort of stuck. He (a different shop) asked me back in a sentence which I totally could not follow, except that I heard the magic word "déecouper" again.
As it was getting crowded in the shop, I pulled myself together and said Yes, please.
When I got back, I found that the chicken was not in halves but in pieces. What could the shop assistant have asked me?

The word découper came to me again later in a bakery shop. Someone asked the shop to découper the loaf of bread for her. How do you day that in French please? I'm sure découper was the word she used.

Thank you so much.
 
  • zazie

    Member
    USA, English
    I think I'd say "couper le poulet en deux," but I'm not a native speaker so this may not be correct. Usually, "découper un poulet" would mean to carve it, like if it's already cooked and you're serving the pieces. You can also use "découper" to mean cut (paper) with scissors.

    Oh, and "to cut a loaf of bread in slices" would be "découper le pain en tranches."
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    zazie said:
    I think I'd say "couper le poulet en deux," but I'm not a native speaker so this may not be correct. Usually, "découper un poulet" would mean to carve it, like if it's already cooked and you're serving the pieces. You can also use "découper" to mean cut (paper) with scissors.
    Thank you. I forgot to say, the chicken was cooked in both occasions.
     

    Jean-Michel Carrère

    Senior Member
    French from France
    regarding the bread you bought, either you misunderstood or the person made a surprising mistake, but the usual thing to say or hear in that particular situation is :

    je vous le coupe ? = shall I slice it for you ?
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    Jean-Michel Carrère said:
    regarding the bread you bought, either you misunderstood or the person made a surprising mistake, but the usual thing to say or hear in that particular situation is :

    je vous le coupe ? = shall I slice it for you ?
    :p I must have probably misheard. Thank you.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    charlie2 said:
    When I got back, I found that the chicken was not in halves but in pieces. What could the shop assistant have asked me?
    Probably
    Je vous le découpe ? or
    Voulez-vous/vous voulez que je vous le découpe ?

    Next time, you should answer something like
    - En deux, s'il vous plaît. or
    - Pouvez-vous le couper en deux, s'il vous plaît ?
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    LV4-26 said:
    Probably
    Je vous le découpe ? or
    Voulez-vous/vous voulez que je vous le découpe ?

    Next time, you should answer something like
    - En deux, s'il vous plaît. or
    - Pouvez-vous le couper en deux, s'il vous plaît ?
    Thank you, now that I know in halves is en deux, is en morceaux in pieces?
    Or if I have not specified en deux, the chicken will be carved automatically in pieces?
     
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