Faire le pont

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Today, le jeudi de l’Ascension (Ascension Thursday, Holy Thursday, or Ascension Day), is a christian holiday. As it is celebrated 40 days after Easter Sunday, it always falls on a Thursday and often in May, even if the date varies. It is a bank holiday in France. Just an extra day off in May, but for most people it is much more than that: as they font le pont (literally: make the bridge), they have a long holiday weekend. They won’t indeed work Friday, nor Saturday. The expression faire le pont means that if a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, the break is extended by also taking the nearest Friday or Monday off work. These two days are not official bank holidays, but following a kind of tradition that means people don’t work. Faire le pont applies to administrations, schools and some companies. In any case, it depends on the good will of the management. Sometimes it does count as a holiday that you have to deduct from your annual quota of days off, sometimes not. It might be paid as a normal working day, or not. Lots of people do work though, in shops, restaurants and hotels etc.

Grrr… grammar:

In the expression faire le pont, the third group verb faire has to be conjugated and to agree with its subject.
Faire is not only irregular, but also suffers from a weird pronunciation especially for nous in présent and for all the persons in imparfait. Let’s see:

Faire au présent de l’indicatif♥:
Je fais (I do /make)
Tu fais (you …)
Il / elle / on fait ( he / she / one does)
Nous faisons (we do / make)
Vous faites (you …)
Ils / elles font (they…)

Faire à l’imparfait de l’indicatif♥:
Je faisais ( I did / made)
Tu faisais
Il / elle / on faisait
Nous faisions
Vous faisiez
Ils / elles  faisaient

And listen:

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