Wondering how one would say a phrase such as "he can help them reach their potential"

would you use "à atteindre leur potentiel"


  • You can also use réaliser son plein potentiel Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


Instead of the most evident word in French (potentiel) the word "maximum" would have to be used.

  • Il peut les aider à atteindre leur maximum.

(harrap's) to reach one's potential → atteindre son maximum

Other possibilities can be used.

  • Il peut les aider à donner toute leur mesure. (Robert-Collins: He hasn't realized yet his full potential. → Il n'a pas encore donné toute sa mesure.)
  • Il peut les aider à faire de leur mieux.
  • Il peut les aider à réaliser le meilleur de ce dont ils sont capables.
  • thanks so much!
    – Drwhops
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 21:11
  • Could you please explain why "potentiel" wouldn't be suitable here? I see no reason...
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 12:32
  • @LaurentS. I think it wouldn't be idiomatic. One reason for that is that I don't feel it is (the idea of realizing one's potential somehow is not put that way in French), which is of course not enough for having a certitude, but another reason is that two dictionaries do not use "potentiel"; why would they reject the term if it had some currency in this context?
    – LPH
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 12:50
  • @LaurentS. Il me semble que c'est un anglicisme récent; voir par exemple wordreference.
    – LPH
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 12:56
  • If I look at CNRTL, I find "Ensemble des ressources que possède en puissance un individu ou un groupe humain ou un système industriel; capacité d'action ou de production." which seems to correspond to the current situation? While I couldn't be sure if it's not an anglicism, it is certainly very idiomatic, there are plenty of articles online about "Développer son potentiel", "Réaliser votre plein potentiel", etc...
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 13:06

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