I'm trying to describe a situation where someone made me believe a story that was not true just to see my reaction. Something that in English I would say "He was only joking with me" or "he was fucking with me" (sorry, it's the best way I found to describe my intent in English).

How would one say that phrase in French in a form that the majority would understand the same.

7 Answers 7


I would use one of:

Il me faisait marcher

or, closer to "fucking with me"

Il se foutait de moi


If you really want to point out that someone try to make you believe something, you can use :

  • "mettre en boite" (somewhat informal)
  • "faire marcher" (somewhat informal)
  • "mener en bateau"
  • "se jouer de"
  • "berner" : could apply, but does not always conveys the fact that it is fun
  • "bluffer" (yes, it is used in french)

The following proposals dismiss the fact that someone tries to make you believe a story, and only consider that someone makes fun of you, but beware of some differences :

  • "plaisanter avec quelqu'un" means "joking with someone" (not mocking him/her)
  • "plaisanter quelqu'un" means "making fun from someone", always in a friendly way
  • "se moquer de quelqu'un" means "making fun from someone", not always in a friendly way
  • "moquer quelqu'un/quelque chose" means "making fun from someone/something", not in a friendly way.
  • "se foutre de quelqu'un" (slang) can be friendly or not.

Whilst il plaisantait would mean he was joking, il me taquinait would be able to convey the idea that he was joking with me.


You could say : Il ne faisait que plaisanter avec moi.


Although the first two meanings of the reflexive verb “(se) moquer (de quelqu’un)” involve:

1) “ridiculing someone or something ” and

2)“dismissing the value of someone/thing,

its third meaning (Tromper ou essayer de tromper quelqu'un, quelque chose avec désinvolture = To/try to deceive/mislead/trick/fool someone/thing in a casual manner) might offer a more polite alternative to the idea conveyed by “Il se foutait de moi” =

“Il se moquait de moi”


Il se jouait de moi

se jouer

Ne pas se laisser arrêter par quelque chose ou n'en faire aucun cas : Se jouer des lois, des difficultés.

Littéraire. Tromper quelqu'un, abuser de sa confiance ou de sa naïveté, le rendre ridicule : Je vous dis qu'il s'est joué de nous !

Jouer implies playing and/or tricking.


Il m'a plaisanté pour observer ma réaction.

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