Je ne vais pas me rabaisser à ce point !

Je ne vais pas m’abaisser à polémiquer sur ça !

Is it just me, or does "s’abaisser" only (or mostly) take "à + infinitive" while "se rabaisser" comes with "à + noun", as shown in the examples above? Or can you just switch the two around?

Je ne vais pas m'abaisser à ce point !

Je ne vais pas me rabaisser à polémiquer sur ça !

And what about the nuances of meaning between these two similar expressions?

2 Answers 2


S' « abaisser » a un sens physique et signifie « baisser vers qqchose ». J'abaisse la selle de mon vélo à ma hauteur.

Il me semble que « rabaisser » a plus un sens moral. « Je ne vais pas me rabaisser à polémiquer sur ça » veut dire « Je ne vais pas perdre de temps à polémiquer sur ça, cela n'en vaut pas la peine/je vaux mieux que ça. »


Both forms means here to lower our own level/role/rank in order to do something, often in an humiliating way.

Theoretically, rabaisser is "to lower something that is too high or that has been previously raised" while abaisser is simply "to lower something" but I doubt that really makes a difference here. Maybe the former is a little stronger.

S'abaisser à is probably preferred in literature/formal French but otherwise, both are interchangeable so your four sentences are idiomatic

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