Can I keep my bag with me?

English: Can I keep my bag with me?

French: J’peux-tu garder ma sacoche avec moi?

Not only is it important to learn what to say to passengers, it’s also important to understand the French that passengers say to you.

Here’s the situation: you’re preparing the cabin for take off and see a lady holding onto her purse on her lap. You ask her kindly if she could stow the bag under the seat. “Pouvez-vous ranger le sac sous le siège, SVP?” She asks if she can keep her purse with her. How would passengers usually ask this question?

Most other French courses will teach you formal French:

Je peux=I can

Garder=To keep

Mon sac à main=My purse

Avec moi=With me

Est-ce que=Question marker that turns a statement into a yes/no question.

Je peux garder mon sac à main avec moi.=I can keep my purse with me.

Est-ce que je peux garder mon sac à main avec moi?=Can I keep my purse with me?

Although the above question is technically correct, your French Canadian passengers likely won’t say that. Firstly, as stated in our last post, they’re likely to use “sacoche” instead of “sac à main.”

Also, in Canadian French, instead of using “est-ce que” to turn a statement into a yes/no question, they often use “-tu”.

Je peux=I can

J’peux=I can (colloquial pronunciation)

J’peux-tu?=Can I?