I can't understand what s'accrocher means in this phrase. The whole phrase appears to be translated into English, "Those letters she receives from her hometown are the only things keeping her going." But I don't know with which part s'accrocher has any connection in this phrase.

Elle ne s'accroche que pour lire les lettres qu'elle reçoit de sa ville natale.

2 Answers 2


“S'accrocher” is literally similar to “hold on”, meaning “endure in difficult circumstances”, but its connotations are sometimes close to “keep going”. This sentence is difficult to translate and “keep going” just fits better the chosen English phrasing. Also note that in the French phrasing, reading the letters has more accurately become the only motive/purpose that keeps her going.


More context might help but s'accrocher is used figuratively here and indeed means something like "to keep going", "to hang" or "to cling" (thanks to aCOSwt and Laurent S. for the suggestions).

S'accrocher means "to refrain to give up, to keep going despite the difficulties".

  • More to cling than just to keep going ?
    – MC68020
    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:22
  • What is meant could implicitly be: "Elle ne s'accroche (à la vie) que pour..."
    – Pierre
    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:28
  • S'accrocher is used I think like "hang" is used in the Famous "Hang in there, Baby"
    – Laurent S.
    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:43

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