On avait organisé cette révolte, car vous disiez que la victoire nous tendait les bras.

I assume that this is a figurative use of the expression « tendre les bras ». Does it mean :

... car vous disiez que nous étions à deux doigts de la victoire.

What words other than « victoire » can be used with this figurative « tendre les bras » expression?

(???) nous tend les bras.

2 Answers 2


From the top of my head I can think of "Le succès lui tend les bras", "La réussite me tend les bras" which is pretty much of the same range, but I don't see a reason not to use anything else.

Google finds things like "Le cinéma lui tend les bras" or even "L'Alsace vous tend les bras"...

It's very visual, and basically it means the thing is (metaphorically) welcoming you, and inviting you to join it. Implicitly, it also means that you haven't reached it yet. You're just a few steps away, but you still have to walk those steps.

For example, a prisoner in the process of breaking out could say "La liberté me tend les bras", but he's not free yet, he could get caught at the last moment. There's hope and fairly high chances, but no certainty.


Practically any word you could think about. Except for some obvious ones. You have to keep it figurative. Talk about your bed saying that "Mon lit me tend les bras" (you must be tired, old pal). Or talk about victory, or even luck.

"Deux doigts" is closer to "je suis proche de" than "tendre les bras" (we're having a really good chance to (???), but we don't know how close we are to it. Events are in our favor and we should be victorious, but when?)

  • Oh, I see. So the original sentence must mean "we stand a really good chance to win" rather than "we are close to winning". Merci. Dec 22, 2016 at 18:33

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