I have seen the construction se mettre droit written in L'académie française and Le Robert:enter image description here

I know that « La fille se met debout. » means "The girl is standing up." Gif 1 shows a girl standing up.

Collins Dictionary enter image description here

I'm trying to understand the meaning of « se mettre droit » and to see if it has a different meaning to « se mettre debout ».

Does « La fille se met droit. » mean the same thing as « La fille se met debout. » or does it mean something else? Are there any nuances between the two sentences?

I am ALREADY aware that « La fille se met droit. » is not a natural sentence. I am ONLY using it to understand the answers to the above questions.

Please can you answer in English.

  • 1
    — Un yogi ‘se tient/met droit’ assis en tailleur ou en lotus — « Être/rester/se mettre droit dans ses bottes == Être/rester/revenir fidèle à ses principes ». Droit peut être nom, adverbe ou adjectif selon le contexte. Si en principe cela se réfère au maintien du corps (ou une construction : le poteau se met droit quand il est enfoncé dans son trou), cela peut être une attitude morale ou concerne un sens : un bossu peut se mettre/tenir droit dans “le sens de la marche“.
    – Personne
    Dec 22, 2022 at 20:44

3 Answers 3


I am aware that « La fille se met droit. » may not be the most natural sentence.

That's an understatement.

Does « La fille se met droit. » mean the same thing as « La fille se met debout. » or does it mean something else?

No, the first sentence means (if it does mean something1) that the girl moves from a position where she wasn't droite to a position where she is but she might still be seated in an armchair or jumping off a diving board, while the second one means the girl stands up but there is no guarantee she is "stiff and straight". In any case droit and debout do not mean the same thing, it is not without reason that the expression droit debout exists.

1 The role of droit is unclear. The expression is so rare that we do not know if droit is an adjective (and then should be droite) or an adverb like with elle se tient droit.

  • Thank you for your response @jlliagre I have edited the question to make it more answerable.
    – user31453
    Dec 23, 2022 at 0:07
  • "the first sentence means (if it does mean something) that the girl moves from a position where she wasn't droite to a position where she is" ... What does "droite" mean?
    – user31453
    Dec 23, 2022 at 0:45
  • Droite is here an adjective that means "straight".
    – jlliagre
    Dec 23, 2022 at 0:57

"La fille se met droit" (X) doesn't mean the same thing as "La fille se met debout" because the meaning of the former is vague/unclear and the phrase/sentence is not idiomatic or incomplete, as you know, whereas the latter means she gets up and is idiomatic and complete.

Ac. and Robert are defining/explaining the meaning of the verb (se) dresser, and not the other way around. "Se mettre droit" evokes the motion or positioning towards (greater) verticality and helps to understand those contexts where "se dresser" is used in that entry. The only way I can imagine a human being "se mettre droit" per se is when they're curled up in bed and a doctor asks them to stretch their legs and be on their back, but they would ask "allongez vos jambes et mettez-vous sur le dos" and not "mettez-vous droit", and in any case it wouldn't be equivalent to "se dresser" in their bed.

You can find on the Web a few instances where "mets-toi droit" is used for "tiens-toi droit" and this may be the result of a poor/automatic translation, lack of proficiency or very relaxed speech with dropping of a complement; maybe some speakers feel the need to resort to mettre instead of tenir when the person is not standing up. There may even be a regional component to this. Otherwise inanimate objects can possibly come back to their non-folded/upright/center/in-line position and "se mettre droit" could possibly describe this. Something like "se mettre droit devant la caméra" would be in front, lined up with, not standing tall in front of.

Incidentally, there is no connection with the "to put straight" idiom in English.


This construction is not used to say "se mettre debout". The adjective "droit" is used to describe posture; it means "upright". However, to say that someone got into an upright posture you wouldn't use the construction "mettre droit(e)". (Similarly, I think you wouldn't say "put yourself upright") Instead, you would use the word "posture" and the verb "prendre" ("prendre une posture droite").

s'est mise droit,s'est mis droit,s'est mise droite

  • C'est-à-dire se tenir droit ? Comment ça ?
    – livresque
    Dec 22, 2022 at 4:28
  • @livresque Il existe toutes sortes de possibilités de postures qui ne sont pas droite, et même lorsqu'on est assis : par exemple on peut se tenir assis en ayant le dos rond, ou on peut pencher d'un côté ; alternativement on peut avoir la tête penchée vers l'avant, etc. Lorsque l'on corrige une de ces postures (souvent pas considérée comme saine) et que l'on raidit le dos, c'est à dire qu'on maintient la colonne vertébrale droite et la tête dans son prolongement on dit que la personne a adopté une posture droite, ou qu'elle maintient une telle posture lorsqu'elle n'en a pas d'autre. (1/2)
    – LPH
    Dec 22, 2022 at 15:08
  • 1
    … pas de moinssoiement de ma part. — Non, « Une fille qui se tient droit/debout/(très) bien » question de mental/psychisme/morale, n'est pas « Une fille qui se tient droite/(toute raide) » question de maintien.
    – Personne
    Dec 22, 2022 at 16:52
  • 2
    … vous avez raison de donner une leçon de philologie française à un natif pour un droit qui peut être : nom, adverbe, adjectif. Peu importe, je retourne au silence.
    – Personne
    Dec 22, 2022 at 18:58
  • 1
    Moi non plus, je ne vois pas de problème qui mérite la moinsoyer. Ma commentaire c'était une question de clarification à laquelle toi et la communauté avez répondu. Merci.
    – livresque
    Dec 22, 2022 at 20:06

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