Does a mother give baisers or bisous to her children? When is each of those words used.
Dictation exercise B1
Just to add to what Maarten has said , the noun 'un baiser' is an old-fashioned word for describing a kiss. On a text or email, you would use 'bisous' but as this was a poem it is poetic to use it to say-
On a postcard, you might write -
The verb is to be avoided at all costs as it means something totally different nowadays.!!!
It is more knowing when not to use ‘baiser’, as ‘baiser’ has standard and acceptable public uses, and amorous, sexual or even vulgar meanings.
‘Baiser’ is best avoided in any situation in which it may be misconstrued, but remains in use in unambiguous contexts, as in this poem, and is found in formal writing etc. I mostly hear ‘bisou/s’ in everyday speech, without doubt.
The one time I heard the vulgar 4 word sentence in public was many years ago when a ‘creature’ brazenly directed it at a female student on a school French trip, in front of other students and adults. Disgusting behaviour !
Just to shed some light on Cécile's somewhat (understandably) cryptic remark:
to kiss someone -- embrasser quelq'un
Do not say: baiser qqn since that means to f*** someone!
I remember one of our younger lecturers at uni howling with laughter on telling us how a student had translated -
" Darling, you have not kissed me yet! "
using the 'wrong' verb ...
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