I encountered this while reading Astérix gladiateur, and I can't make heads or tails of this sentence. The bard Assurancetourix has been captured and brought to Caesar as a gift. In Caesar's court he is standing in chains and thinking to himself:

Tu peux toujours courir pour que je chante pour toi ! Et tu ne sais pas ce que tu perds!

This seems to mean:

You can always run so that I sing for you! And you won't know what you're missing!

Which of course makes no sense. Am I misunderstanding the role of courir here?

  • 1
    Here are some similar expressions : "Tu peux rêver !", "Tu peux te gratter !", "Crève !".
    – Mistalis
    Mar 24, 2017 at 8:06
  • 1
    Tu peux te brosser ! too
    – jlliagre
    Mar 24, 2017 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


Tu peux (toujours) courir is an idiomatic expression meaning that something will not happen, even with your best efforts. Something like: even if you try very hard (presumably by running very fast towards somewhere), it won't happen. Here, Assurancetourix will not sing, no matter what.

CNRTL gives:

Fam. Tu peux toujours courir! Tu auras beau faire, tu n'obtiendras pas ce que tu veux.

Proverbe. Il vaut mieux tenir que courir (cf. un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras).

  • We can say "Cours toujours !" too.
    – Destal
    Mar 24, 2017 at 12:22

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