13 French terms you need to know

13 French terms you need to know
February 4, 2023

Each language has idioms. The French have quite a bit, and so they actually prefer to get inventive with them. French idioms typically embrace animals, French staples, lightning bolts, you identify it!

You will need to be accustomed to no less than some French idioms, in any other case you might end up very confused when talking with natives. Idioms are sayings that include meanings that aren’t solely clear simply by taking a look at their particular person phrases.

For instance in England somebody may inform you to “break a leg”. Now, if you happen to’re not English, you is perhaps offended by this. However truly, “break a leg” in English is one other method to want somebody “good luck”!

Now do you perceive the significance of realizing some phrases in French? In case you can study a couple of expressions, it is going to actually enable you to sound like a local. This may make you sound such as you’ve lived in France your complete life!

As well as, they have a tendency so as to add just a little humor to conversations.

To get you began, here is an inventory of 13 well-liked French phrases, together with their English translations and a few examples of once they’re used. Let’s dive into:

1 – To cowl a bra

Literal translation: price us a cubit
That means: It is very costly, it prices a fortune

We even have the same expression within the English language: “It prices an arm and a leg.” In fact, dropping your arm would not be very enjoyable, all of us want our arms! Therefore the expression “Ça coûte un bras”, which suggests they break the bank.

Cette belle voiture va te coûter un bras!
This stunning automobile will price you an arm and a leg!

2 – A cup of meals

Literal translation: bolt of lightning
That means: love at first sight

The French are often known as romantics. “Un coup de foudre” actually means to be struck by lightning. Have you ever ever met somebody and it was simply… love at first sight? Nearly like within the films? Sure, that is while you use that French time period.

Be aware you could additionally use it for issues.

Je sais pas…j’ai eu un coup de foudre.
I do not know… it was love at first sight.

3 – These are oignons

Literal translation: It is not your onion
That means: It’s none of your small business/thoughts your individual enterprise

The closest English equal to this expression is “not your beeswax”. This expression is totally casual and you should use it when your boyfriend retains attempting to become involved in one thing that has completely nothing to do with him!

How did the onion come into this expression? Now that is one thing we’ll by no means know.

From right here you’ll be able to entry Roberto et moi, which supplies the very best outcomes.
What goes on between me and Roberto is none of your small business.

The most effective time to memorize French idioms is to study them naturally, within the context of a narrative. Take a look at our easy-to-use French audio novels at present and study actually helpful vocabulary, naturally.

Une Semaine – bilingual audiobook in Paris

Audio narration for all ranges. Discover Paris by trendy, vigorous, and practical dialogues

Extra particulars and audio samples

4 – Energy Com Unfaithful

Literal translation: to drink like a gap
That means: to drink (quite a bit)

You should use this time period to explain somebody who drinks lots of alcohol (and does not actually know when to cease). The English equal can be “drink like a fish”. Listed below are extra expressions about ingesting in French.

Son of Marie Poet Come on True!
Her husband drinks like a fish!

5 – Truthful la grasse matinee

Literal translation: to do a fats morning
That means: keep in mattress until late.

Chances are you’ll want this time period while you’re laying down after a late evening. This expression sounds rather more fascinating than merely saying “sleep late” (sleep late). Possibly it’s best to do a “grasse matinée” this weekend!

I did the grassy matinée this matin and je me suis reveillé at 11 hours!
I slept late this morning and wakened at 11 am!

6-Appel a chat a chat

Literal translation: to name a cat a cat
That means: to say it as it’s

In English, we’ve the expression “to name a spade a spade”. In French they like to make use of cats (cooler!). This time period means to say one thing as it’s, frankly, instantly, with out getting across the subject.

He faut appeler un chat un chat: it is a trompée.
You need to name a spade a spade: he cheated on her.

7 – Les Carrots Not Simply

Literal translation: Carrots are cooked
That means: There’s nothing you are able to do (concerning the scenario)

“Les carottes sont cuites” is used when it’s too late to alter a scenario. In French, you can too say “C’est fini” (completed) or “C’est perdu” (misplaced), however the time period with carrots is extra enjoyable for my part!

In English, we typically say “the jig is over” as an equal.

Cette fois, les carottes sont cuites.
This time, the jig is basically up.

8-Avoir the eyes greater than that

Literal translation: To have your eyes greater than your abdomen
That means: to soak up greater than you’ll be able to eat

Think about you’re at a buffet, you see lots of meals and also you assume “I will eat quite a bit!”. However when it comes proper all the way down to it, you’ll be able to’t eat a lot in any respect since you’re so full. Because of this you’ve got “les yeux plus gros que le ventre”.

J’ai pris une trop grosse half. J’ai eu les yeux plus gros que le ventre.
I took a really massive slice. I took greater than I may eat.

9 – He didn’t lose time

Literal translation: It is a canine’s ritual
That means: the climate could be very unhealthy

It is a very helpful expression to make use of when the climate is terrible – wet, chilly, windy, or suddenly.

Ne sor pas: il fait un temps de chien
Do not exit: the climate is unhealthy.

10 – Lavoir Le Cavard

Literal translation: to be a cockroach
That means: feeling unhappy, depressed, or depressed

Whenever you’re in a foul temper, this French idiom is a good use. In English, we’d say “to be within the dumps”. She has an unofficial report.

Apparently, the French poet Charles Baudelaire invented this phrase as a synonym for melancholy in his poetry assortment “Les Fleurs du Mal”:

Parfois il prend, sachant mon grand amour de l’Artwork,
La forme de la plus séduisante des femmes,
Et, sous de specieux prétextes de cafard,
Accoutume what lives in philtres infâmes.

Je ne vais pas bien, j’ai le cafard.
I do not really feel properly, I get annoyed.

11-Quand les poules auront des dents

Literal translation: When a rooster has enamel
That means: not an opportunity! / by no means

This expression is a flowery manner of claiming that one thing won’t ever occur. The English equal of this French time period can be “When Pigs Fly”. The tone could be very informal and humorous.

You seras riche quand les poules auront des dents!
You may be wealthy when pigs fly!

12 – Filer in England

Literal translation: Escape in English fashion
That means: leaving discreetly, unnoticed, with out saying goodbye (typically with out manners)

The French actually devoted the time period to their neighbors throughout the Channel!

It actually alludes to the uneasy relationship between the French and the English all through historical past. ‘Filer à l’anglaise’ is used when an individual is discreetly leaving a spot, which could be very rude.

In English, one would say ‘to carry out a runner’.

Hier, pendant la soirée, j’ai file a l’anglaise
Yesterday, in the course of the occasion, I discreetly left with out saying goodbye.

13 – It is the very best haricots

Literal translation: It is the tip of the grain
That means: The scenario is catastrophic and hopeless, it is throughout

Beans are low cost and filling, and had been used as a staple meals in occasions of shortage. So if we ran out of beans, properly… the scenario was actually hopeless. This expression can be utilized in quite a lot of conditions, reminiscent of when somebody’s favourite soccer crew loses a recreation, or after a breakup.

Si on perd ce shopper, c’est la fin des haricots-
If we lose that buyer, it is over.

Probably the greatest methods to study French idioms is to immerse your self within the tradition with films and podcasts, and to talk with native French individuals. Understanding a couple of expressions will enable you to keep away from some awkward conditions and make you sound like a fluent French individual!

#French #phrases

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