"I was well aware of your desire to be his successor, but to resort to murder!?"

« J'étais bien conscient de votre désir de lui succéder, mais de là à avoir recours au meurtre... ? »

In English, we use the expression "... , but to (do) ..." to express the feeling of surprise/shock in the face of an incredible turn of event.

I wonder if the expression "... , mais de là à (faire) ..." is its equivalent in French?

Should I take this expression to literally mean "... , but from there to do (something else) ..."?

  • With your sentence, i think but to (do) is the equivalent of mais de là à (faire). But I don't understand your second question. Do you translate it from french to english? Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 8:53
  • Oh, I'm trying to figure out why "mais de là à" as a whole means "but to". So I've broken down the expression word by word: "mais" = "but" | "de" = "from" | "là" = "there" | "à" = "to". Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 9:01
  • On puorriat puet-être le tradiure comme ça, mias ce ne serriat qeu du mot à mot ...
    – jlliagre
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 9:16
  • @jlliagre Attention "pourrait" est bien écrit dans l'original.... :)
    – Random
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 10:31
  • @Random Pas fuax ! ;)
    – jlliagre
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


The expression is indeed the french equivalent. The literal translation (word for word) is not valid. It is only used in its figurative sense.

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