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What could be the French equivalents of the expression "to clear something with somebody"? Like: "I will clear (it) with my wife, whether I can participate in Tuesday meeting."

The first that came to my mind is clarifier, but it seems to mean more "éclaircir", whereas "to clear" seems more about assuring that there are no obstacles ("getting clearance")... "clearance" however is too strong a word here, as if it were a request for an authorization (autorisation).

Among many translations suggested by Linguee (which I usually find very helpful), none seems appropriate.

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    Since to clear something with someone in English means to authorize or approve, generally, it's used with work or school situations for permission to do something. Anywhere, there is a hierarchy. But I doubt you want to go that strongly with a wife. So, maybe, you can change the person and situation you are looking to clear something. to clear in English is not clarifier in French. It would be avoir la permission pour faire x. or: me faire autoriser.
    – Lambie
    Jun 4 at 13:44
  • @Lambie Indeed, the situation with my wife is more about, e.g., whether she will be available to pick the kid out of school or something like that. It is more a situation of assurer la permanence Jun 4 at 13:50
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    I understand what you are saying to me. But unfortunately, it's "in the language" like that in English and a guy who says something like that is implying (albeit gently) that the wife runs the home show. Which is fine too. Wives often keep the schedules, in which case it means: see if we are free that night.
    – Lambie
    Jun 4 at 13:54
  • @Lambie then I might well be missing some nuances of English here - it is not my mother tongue. Thanks. Jun 4 at 15:01

2 Answers 2

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Since "clear it with ____" is an expression, instead of searching for "clear" on linguee, you will get better results by searching for "clear it with my boss" or the such like. You'll see there are a few different options:

En parler à [mon patron]

Less applicable to your wife, but in certain situations the expression could be translated:

Demander l'autorisation de [mon patron]

Or perhaps the simplest would be:

Vérifier avec [mon patron]

And in light of your latest comment, which suggests an aspect of permanence, maybe you would be looking for something along the lines of:

Confirmer avec mon épouse

Bottom line is that when you're looking for expressions you have to either put the full expression in, or you have to find an equivalent word such as "check with" and translate that. Otherwise you end up with literally translated expressions which make no sense in French. Hope it helps!

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  • I agree with everything except that it can be translated as en parler à quelqu'un. It's much stronger than that.
    – Lambie
    Jun 4 at 13:56
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    @Lambie yeah fair point
    – anonymous2
    Jun 4 at 13:57
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The English definition in Merriam Webster is:

5a: to submit for approval
clear it with me first

b : AUTHORIZE, APPROVE cleared the article for publication

Merriam Webster's applicable definition

In French, that would be:

  • donner le feu vert pour quelque chose [ligher]

  • avoir l'autorisation [d'un supérieur hiérarchique] pour faire quelque chose [more formal]

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