Questions tagged [expressions-idiomatiques]

Phrases ou expressions dont les mots portent une signification différente du sens littéral.

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2answers
73 views

Usage de “La madeleine de Proust”

L'expression La madeleine de Proust http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/une-madeleine-de-proust.php c'est une expression qui parle de quelque chose qui déclenche le mémoire. (un déjà-vu). Peut-...
3
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1answer
56 views

Translation of “It is found to be”

The echelon form of the matrix is found to be given by... La forme échelonnée de la matrice se trouve être donnée par... I have a feeling that the French turn would sound a bit weird to native ...
4
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2answers
260 views

Usage of “tour de force”

In English one can use a tour de force speaking about a display of a skill, or ingenuity. For instance, In 1943 in a tour de force of mathematical physics, Lars Onsager solved the 2D Ising Model. (...
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4answers
936 views

Conveying the idea of « go figure »

En grec nous avons une expression « τρέχα (https://www.wordreference.com/gren/%CF%84%CF%81%CE%AD%CF%87%CE%B1) γύρευε (see, look for, search for, figure out) » (trecha gyreve) ; on le dit de quelque ...
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3answers
736 views

Idiom for “Ahead of its time”

Is En avance sur son temps idiomatic in French as Ahead of its time in English? For instance, Five Movies with Special Effects Ahead of Their Time. Cinq films avec effets spéciaux en avance ...
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4answers
213 views

Peut-on être fier et humble à la fois ?

J'ai, à plusieurs reprises, entendu des personnes dire, suite à, entre autres, une nomination, une remise de prix ou une décoration, qu'ils en « sont fiers » et qu'ils l'acceptent « avec humilité » (...
3
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1answer
78 views

Emploi du verbe “procrastiner” pour rendre l'idée de “remettre aux calendes grecques”

L'expression "remettre aux calendes grecques" est-elle répandue/reconnue ? Peut-on couramment rendre son sens avec le verbe "procrastiner" ?
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3answers
174 views

Traduction de l'anglais « man's man »

I On trouve une définition de « man's man » dans le dictionnaire anglais-français « Harrap's »; c'est « un vrai homme, un homme que les autres hommes admirent ». Cependant, dans cette source, ...
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2answers
224 views

Conveying the idea of “stay tuned”

In one course I wanted to say to my students: More advanced things to come; stay tuned! I wasn't sure if the translation " restez à l'écoute" can be used idiomatically in this context. Des ...
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9answers
2k views

Conveying the idea of “tricky”

The other day I wanted to say to my students That was easy, here's a trickier one. I said Ça c'était facile, en voici un plus délicat. But I think délicat is of higher register than tricky. ...
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2answers
80 views

Origine et signification d'expression “Faire monde”

J'ai rencontré l'expression "faire monde" : https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/faire-monde.1430525/ Quelle est l'origine de cette expression ? Quel phénomène grammatical permet la juxtaposition ...
4
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2answers
264 views

Conveying the idea of “It's piece of cake” by “simple comme bonjour” or “bête comme chou”

L'autre jour j'ai voulu dire "I cannot understand the grades. The exam paper was a piece of cake." J'ai dit : Les notes sont inexplicables. Les sujets étaient simples comme bonjour." Je ne ...
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4answers
245 views

Using “meilleure chose depuis le pain en tranches” to convey “best thing since sliced bread”

Googling about the British idiom "Best thing since sliced bread" I encounter the French expression "meilleure chose depuis le pain en tranches". Is it a proper French idiomatic expression? For ...
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2answers
475 views

Conveying the idea of “Elvis has left the building” (i.e. Sth has come to an end – it’s over)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_has_left_the_building Le sens que prend l'expression quand elle est réutilisée hors contexte est : « C'est fini, il n'y a plus rien à attendre, à espérer ». ...
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4answers
1k views

What are the different ways one can refer to the home in everyday French

For instance how do I say “when will you be home?” to my wife in an informal way and referring to our home? Is there a French word for home as distinct from house and apartment, as there is in ...
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2answers
52 views

Conveying the idea of “the biggest travesty”

L'autre jour j'ai parlé de Sergio Leone et Stanley Kubrick et j'ai voulu dire en français : SK and SL didn't win an Oscar in Best Film/Best Director categories. This is the biggest travesty. or ...
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3answers
232 views

Conveying the idea of “down the road” (i.e. in the future)

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/down+the+road Lots of things will have changed a few years down the road. Down the road is used metaphorically instead of in the future. One could say ...
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0answers
128 views

« (Faire de) l'esprit en bouteille », est-ce réellement une expression du français ?

Je me souviens maintenant d'une expression que l'une de mes connaissances utilisait en parlant de l'humour douteux de certaines personnes dont elle disait qu'elles faisaient de l'esprit en bouteille (...
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3answers
116 views

Emploi de “frappe, mais écoute” ('strike, if you will; but hear') (grec: pataxon men, akouson de)

En grec ancien, on dit πάταξον μέν, ἄκουσον δέ (pataxon men, akouson de) = strike, if you will; but hear = frappe, mais écoute Voici un peu de contexte historique. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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194 views

Que veut dire « crisse de voyage » ?

Dans une conversation entre Québécois j'ai entendu cette phrase en réponse à quelqu'un qui demandait au locuteur des nouvelles de sa sœur : Ah, l'histoire de ma sœur, j'ai eu mon crisse de voyage....
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3answers
93 views

Conveying the idea of “alive and kicking”

What are some colloquial ways to express in French "alive and kicking" (meaning alive and healthy) as in A: "How are you doing after your surgery?" B: "I'm alive and kicking!" She ran a ...
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1answer
66 views

Conveying the idea of “can’t hold a candle to”

If you say that one person or thing can't hold a candle to another, you meant that the first person or thing is not nearly as good as the second. E.g. There is not one rock star today who could ...
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3answers
67 views

Expressing “(one's) off” as in “he is working his ass off”

(slang) (One's) ass off is used to emphasize the preceding verb as having been done to the maximum degree. For instance I worked my ass off to get where I am today! The people in the back were ...
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1answer
315 views

What do the French say for “Oh, you shouldn’t have”?

In English, this basically means that you’re politely declining a gift that you might feel embarrassed to get or that you don’t feel like you deserve. It can also be used humorously to say that you do ...
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3answers
129 views

En français, est-ce que « de très bons amis » peut impliquer un sous-entendu sexuel ?

En anglais, quand quelqu’un dit « Oh, they’re very good friends! » c’est tout à fait normal mais il y a des situations où on peut le dire pour insinuer qu’il y a une relation sexuelle entre deux ...
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2answers
215 views

on s'en fout de ton sac

I heard a dialogue in a movie between a teenage daughter and her mom, which rummaged through the daughter's purse and found some condoms: Daughter: Tu as fouillé dans mon sac? Mother: On s'en fout de ...
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1answer
69 views

La locution « à dormir debout » : pourquoi l'extravagant ou l'invraisemblable fait-il dormir de cette manière ?

La locution à dormir debout est attestée en 1611 pour « extravagant » (DHLF/Rey) ; aujourd'hui ça signifierait surtout « invraisemblable ». Peut-on identifier la ou les premières attestations (Littré ...
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1answer
122 views

Comment traduire « full of beans » : adjectif simple, syntagme ou locution ?

En anglais on a l'« adjectif idiomatique » full of beans, signifiant entre autres « energetic and enthusiastic » (Wiktionnaire) ou « full of energy and life » (Merriam Learners) : Jem was among ...
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2answers
3k views

French equivalent of “my cup of tea”

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/my-cup-of-tea.html One expression that I consider a "classic" English one is "my cup of tea". Does the literal translation in French, i.e. "ma tasse de thé", ...
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4answers
216 views

Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît POINT

In this famous saying by B. Pascal,  Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point, what is the meaning of point? Is it just a pun in that  point  sounds like pas or is it supposed to put ...
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2answers
162 views

What does “adresser un pot de confiture à l'aigreur de la situation” mean?

Nietzsche : "J’adresse un pot de confiture pour me débarrasser d’une histoire qui tourne au vinaigre." What is meant by the expression adresser un pot de confiture? Especially the word adresser has ...
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5answers
1k views

What are the French equivalents of “blow away the cobwebs”?

We were having a conversation after a concert, and I said: C’est bon de sortir de temps à autre pour se divertir un peu, d'autant plus que j'ai passé mes dernières journées à compulser de vieux ...
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2answers
258 views

“Practice makes perfect” and “c'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron”

Trying to translating "practice makes perfect" (i.e. if one practices an activity enough, one will eventually master it; see https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/practice+makes+perfect) I encountered ...
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4answers
139 views

Un équivalent français du mot romand « bugne »

En Suisse romande, le mot bugne est très courant pour définir un dégât en creux, généralement d'importance mineure et causée par une compression, généralement un choc. Bugne est donc un antonyme de "...
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1answer
94 views

Quelle est la signification de l'expression “on additionne pas des choux et des carottes”?

J'ai vu cette expression dans des forums de discussion, qui ne parlaient pas de recettes de cuisine...
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3answers
294 views

What is the meaning of “Ce n'est que partie remise”?

The meanings of "Remise" I know of are bargain and some kind of store but this does not fit with the situation where I heard this expression. Something like "Perhaps next time" seemed to be meant. Is ...
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3answers
204 views

How do French people typically say, 'from all the odds and ends we had lying around'?

I'm not sure a French expression matching with this exists but French language is rich in the scope of their expressions, so I must try. What is a typical way to say, 'from all the odds and ends we ...
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2answers
984 views

Can “être sur” mean “to be about” ?

Can "être sur" be used as "to be about"? Examples: Ce livre est sur la naissance du capitalisme. C'est sur le vol de la plus grande banque du pays.
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French equivalent of “Make leaps and bounds”

Talking about an English grammar book to some French friends I wanted to say something like Use this book and soon you will be making leaps and bounds. In fact I have seen the expression in this ...
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7answers
568 views

“To go from zero to hero”

I was talking to my colleagues about one Mechanics book and I wanted to say something like With this book any student may go from zero to hero. Or equivalently This book may take any student ...
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0answers
30 views

Idiom Involving Histoire [duplicate]

Here is a passage from a published translation of a popular novel that was originally written in English: "Je ne mis pas longtemps à transporter mes affaires à l'étage. J'avais la grande chambre à l'...
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2answers
136 views

Comment est-ce qu'on dit “I've got you right where I want you”

Je suis en train de jouer un match de Scrabble en ligne, un match que je suis sûr de perdre. Je voudrais dire, en plaisantant bien sûr, "I've got you right where I want you". Google Translate m'a ...
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3answers
121 views

French equivalents of “an inside day”

Man, I'm beat from all the climbing and such. Today’s got to be just an inside day. This is a humourous way of saying "being cooped up in the house all day by his/her own free will, spending a ...
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1answer
104 views

Can “ Du coup” render “By the way”?

I came across this question How to translate “By the way”? — Comment traduire « By the way » ? I wanted to answer it by mentioning "Du coup" but I was not sure. I think it is not mentioned ...
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2answers
226 views

French equivalents of “some people”, as in “Honestly, some people!”

To express the idea of "Honestly, some people!" (said irritatedly), in conversation I said jokingly: Tu ne sais pas que c’est mal élevé d’interrompre une conversation ? Franchement, il y a de ces ...
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10answers
11k views

“It is what it is” in French

According to https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it+is+what+it+is this idiomatic expression is used to talk about the The situation, circumstance, or outcome (that) has already happened or been ...
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2answers
123 views

selon le vs selon les

Are all sentences below correct? If so, is there a difference in meaning between the two sentences of each pair? Example 1: Selon la culture, la politesse peut prendre différentes formes. Selon les ...
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1answer
64 views

Is d'accord used to express permission…or that something is allowed?

I know that "d'accord" expresses agreement...as in Okay. But is it also used to say something is "allowed". As in "Is it Okay for us to wait here?".
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3answers
187 views

“Faire le buzz” / “faire du buzz”

Les expressions « faire le buzz / faire du buzz » sont-elles assez répandues en dehors des mondes technologique internet, entreprise, marketing, etc. ? Comment doit-on prononcer buzz afin d'être bien ...
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3answers
377 views

What does “un pareil soin” mean here?

So here is a sentence by Montaigne, I can get the overall meaning of it but I really can not figure out the meaning of "un pareil soin" here, and as for the "de" before "un pareil soin", I think it ...