Avec un tel parfum pas très appétissant, ça risquerait de couper l’envie aux gens d’en manger.

I tend to use "couper l’envie" when something puts you off doing something casual like eating ice cream, whereas "passer l’envie" is reserved for a situation that makes you think twice about venturing to do something that may well have some serious repercussions. Given this, "passer l’envie" is often used in a mildly threatening way, the way I see it.

I can't imagine myself saying "passer l’envie" in this specific instance. Or am I reading too much into things here?

Avec un tel parfum pas très appétissant, ça risquerait de passer l’envie aux gens d’en manger.

1 Answer 1


The second form should be faire passer l'envie.

The nuance I see is for couper l'envie to be something that happens relatively quickly while faire passer l'envie is more gradual. You are right the second expression is also sometimes related to threatening situations, e.g. :

Je vais te faire passer l'envie de garer ta voiture devant mon garage !

  • Hi. About "faire", what do you think of: "Voilà qui devrait lui passer l'envie de se moquer de Sophia à l'avenir !"? Somehow, I feel more comfortable leaving "faire" out in this instance. Sep 19, 2017 at 20:25
  • Yes, dropping faire happens but IMHO only in colloquial French. This doesn't match the formal tone of the remaining part of your sentence..
    – jlliagre
    Sep 19, 2017 at 20:35
  • Oh, I see. Do you think you can also drop "faire" in the construction "ça risquerait de (faire) passer l’envie aux gens d’en manger"? Sep 19, 2017 at 20:37
  • 1
    Dropping faire here sounds odd/incorrect to me.
    – jlliagre
    Sep 19, 2017 at 21:34
  • Hi. Regarding "faire passer l'envie", how would you translate your "garage" example sentence into English? Sep 20, 2017 at 16:08

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