Questions tagged [expressions-idiomatiques]

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

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26 views

Dit-on plutôt « Je suis en heure de pause» ou « Je suis sur mon heure de pause »?

J’entends « pause » au sens de « pause-dîner. Dit-on mieux: Je suis en heure de pause, tu peux donc m’appeler. Je suis sur mon heure de pause, tu peux donc m’appeler. Je suis en pause, tu peux donc m’...
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1answer
41 views

Quelle serait une bonne façon de formuler une demande sur un chat en ligne?

Je cherche une meilleure énonciation que: Bonjour, j’aimerais avoir des éclaircissements sur la charte des grandeurs utilisée pour l’achat d’un bicycle. Quelle serait une manière courtoise et ...
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1answer
43 views

La tournure “Ça sent le sapin” : est-elle courante ?

L'expression "Ça sent le sapin" est-elle toujours courante ?
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2k views

Run in your family

I am trying to ask the question "Are there any diseases that run in your family?". How is this best said in French, by a doctor to a patient? Here is my best shot - "Est-qu'il y a des ...
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60 views

What is the French idiomatic equivalent of “burning issues”?

In English, burning issues means matters of very urgent concern, most important. When I tried to find the French equivalent of that, Linguee gave me a few hits like questions brûlantes (which seems ...
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136 views

“Brun/brune”, “brunet/brunette” in common use: is it just about the hair?

My native language is Romanian, one with a lot of French neologisms that resulted in many (more or less) false friends. Thus, I was very surprised in France to hear people saying about a girl with ...
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102 views

Quelle serait une autre façon d’écrire: « Il est passé de culturiste à obèse. »?

Je cherche une façon plus jolie de donner corps à cette idée. Merci.
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2answers
80 views

L'hiver est venu imprévu

En russe on utilise l'expression "l'hiver est venu imprévu" ("зима пришла нежданно") en parlant d'un événement complètement prévisible auquel personne ne s'est préparé (l'hiver et ...
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2answers
73 views

Conveying “Pardon my French”

"Pardon my French" or "Excuse my French" is a common English language phrase ostensibly disguising profanity as words from the French language. The phrase is uttered in an attempt ...
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40 views

“Faire boomerang / Avoir un effet boomerang”, en parlant d'une action hostile qui se retourne contre son auteur : est-ce courant ?

Peut-on utiliser couramment la locution "Faire boomerang / avoir un effet boomerang" en parlant d'une action hostile, se retourner contre son auteur. ? Comme par exemple : La reforme des ...
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1answer
67 views

French expression for a man gaining weight during pregnancy

I was told some time ago that French have an expression for a man gaining weight while his wife/girlfriend is expecting a child (either out of solidarity or simply by being too stressed). But I ...
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185 views

How can we say “talking past each other”?

I couldn't find an equivalent to the English expression "talking past each other". What are the expressions (idiomatic or not) that can be used especially in formal situations. Talking past ...
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53 views

Comment traduire « to throw a monkey wrench into » avec l'animé et l'inanimé ?

L'expression idiomatique « to throw a monkey wrench into » a déjà été abordée sous l'angle de l'étymologie. Voici deux exemples d'emploi : The boss threw a monkey wrench into our plans when he said ...
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1answer
96 views

Le Président Macron a annoncé la tenue d'un “Beauvau de la sécurité”. What does it mean?

The RFI radio commentator explained that Beauvau is a place in Paris where the Ministry of the Interior is located. But I am not clear why it has been mentioned like this. It seems to mean some ...
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131 views

Usage de “talon d'Achille”

Bien évidement je connais le sens de cette expression figée. Peut-on l'employer couramment pour parler de la faiblesse majeure de quelqu'un comme par exemple ci-dessous ? La mécanique est le talon d'...
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1answer
94 views

Origin of “Bourreau de travail”

According to http://www.linternaute.fr/expression/langue-francaise/20292/bourreau-de-travail/ Origine inconnue pour cette expression. The question is evident. What could be some possible assertions ...
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67 views

Expressing ''shoulda, coulda, woulda"

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/woulda,_coulda,_shoulda An expression of dismissiveness or disappointment concerning a statement, question, explanation, course of action, or occurrence involving ...
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88 views

« Comme ça » : Tic ou tact ?

On utilise « comme ça » pour faire référence à une manière de faire, et dans cet usage le pronom « ça » a un antécédent, c'est à dire un antécédent nominal ou bien un antécédent qui se construit à ...
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1answer
75 views

What is meant by “tir de barriere”

I have some troubles understanding the following expression, from this video: Beaucoup d’entre nous ici déjà on fait l’expérience du tir de barrière assassin (...) Has it something to do with the ...
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1answer
192 views

Conveying 'food for thought"

Yes, your ideas have certainly given me food for thought (i.e. they are worth thinking about)! Oui, tes idées m'ont bien donné matière à réflexion ! Can one use idiomatically 'matière à réflexion' ...
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1answer
41 views

Dans quelque temps

If you say Dans quelque temps je vais prendre un avion pour Paris does that mean that the plane will take off soon/in a short while or does it rather mean that the upcoming event will take place ...
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2k views

Do it while you can or “Strike while the iron is hot” in French

How to correctly communicate or express these timely sayings in French? "Do something while the conditions are right" or "Seize the opportunity when it presents itself" Is this ...
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1answer
70 views

Faire un/des effort/s

I'm wondering if the expressions "faire un effort" and "faire des efforts" are interchangeable? Would it for example be possible to say both: Il essaye vraiment de faire un effort ...
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4answers
116 views

« Rejeter le moucheron et avaler le chameau », est-ce courant ?

Peut-on utiliser couramment l'expression Rejeter le moucheron et avaler le chameau. pour quelqu'un qui évite de petites fautes mais s’en permet de grandes ?
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Is there a way to say “thanks to” in French but in a sarcastic manner?

I know there is «grâce à», but that is only used for positive things. There's also «à cause de», but that doesn't give me the same effect I want. For example, how would I say this in French: Thanks ...
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Rhyme in French à la sit and shit in 'They're all sitting because they're shitting their breeches'

The other day I was talking with friends some about a live performance of Led Zeppelin from 1969. A friend mentioned how inactive was the audience in front of a revolutionary performance. I said: ...
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62 views

Conveying '…and then some' as in 'biggest thing ever, and then some'

From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: https://sites.google.com/site/h2g2theguide/Index/i/538246 ["Defining" infinity:] Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Plus grand que ...
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2answers
49 views

Faire des couloirs de

Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire que de faire des couloirs de quelque chose? Dans l'article que je viens de lire, on dit: Cette mère s’est fait connaitre à force de faire des couloirs de l’ONIAM et de ...
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4answers
233 views

Connotation of “faire son mieux”

Could the locution "faire son mieux" convey a negative connotation depending on the context? If so, I would like to see a couple of sentences showing that it is used in that way.
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762 views

Spring forward, fall back

Aujourd'hui au Canada on a mis à jour les horloges. Afin de se rappeler lequel est le bon sens, on a recours à une expression fréquente : « Spring forward, fall back. » En printemps on va en avant ...
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29 views

Conveying 'on steroids'

What is IPython? This sounds like software produced by Apple®, but it is in fact a Python interpreter on steroids. Qu'est-ce que IPython ? Cela ressemble à un logiciel produit par Apple®, mais il s'...
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1answer
222 views

Conveying 'no bullshit'

How would be conveyed in French 'no bullshit' in a title of a document/book as for example: https://minireference.com/ No bullshit guide to learn Mathematics I am thinking about Apprendre les maths ...
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694 views

What's the word equivalent to, “Announcement! Announcement!” or “Attention! Attention!”

In the French speaking parts of Switzerland, when an announcement comes on the speaker says something like: cir-key-ont, cir-key-on (in my best phonetical spelling possible) Seems like there is a ...
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2answers
71 views

Enchanté de vous/te rencontrer

I was wondering how French people tend to respond to the phrase enchanté de vous/te rencontrer. I'm guessing the most common way of answering would be de même/moi aussi (depending on the formality of ...
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3answers
253 views

What would be the closest idiom matching “Dear Me”

I'm looking for the French idiom equivalent to "Dear Me". It bothers me to no end that I can't find one that is accurate enough even though I'm French... What I found but not actually ...
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4answers
82 views

Conveying “in a nutshell”

How can one convey the idiom 'in a nutshell' (i.e. very briefly, giving only the main points) as "What went wrong?" "In a nutshell, everything." We can say 'en un mot' but I am ...
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54 views

Conveying “learn/know enough (sth) to be dangerous”

This is something that it has puzzled me for some time. I'm feeling that a word-by-word translation would not work in French. How can one convey colloquially in French: Learn (or know) Enough to Be ...
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2answers
56 views

Emploi de “connaître bibliquement”

De nos jours, peut-on employer connaître qqn bibliquement pour dire faire l'amour avec qqn ?
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51 views

Quel article après le construction « [suj.] + (ne?) + [v.b.] + que » ?

J'ai entendu cette construction plusieurs fois dans le discours quotidien, mais je n'arrive pas à trouver la règle exacte. Par exemple, je crois que je peux dire : Je veux que du saumon pour le dîner ...
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202 views

Shake that ass = secouez ce cul?

How would you say shake that ass as in shaking your ass to the music in french? Would secouez ce cul be adequate?
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74 views

Conveying “Give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I’ll eat for a lifetime.”

Is there a French equivalent of "Give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I’ll eat for a lifetime." ? I've seen one-to-one renderings but I'm wondering if it exists a ...
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3answers
101 views

Ce que c’est que

I’ve been seeing this construction in several oldish texts, for example in Nerval’s Faust: Je te donnerai le conseil court et bon d’en faire autant, afin de pouvoir, affranchi de tes chaînes, goûter ...
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1k views

C'est chaud = It's crazy ?

I have heard the following dialogue in the TV series Unité 42: J'arrive pas y croire. Bob... C'est chaud. Context: A team of murder investigators are talking about Bob, his fellow investigator who ...
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4answers
69 views

Is there a French equivalent of “on a Kick”?

One of the lesser used English definitions of kick is 5c: pursuit of an absorbing or obsessive new interest —usually used with on1 Is there a French equivalent? My French is super rusty, and I did ...
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1answer
82 views

Comment puis-je commencer un courrier?

Je suis à la recherche de quelques phrases utiles que je pourrais utiliser pour commencer un échange électronique avec quelqu’un sachant que je le connais déjà. Par exemple : Bonjour, Je reprends ...
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132 views

What is a French equivalent for the office slang phrase “knife and fork it (the problem)”?

Please, help me to find an appropriate equivalent! Edit: To "knife and fork" a problem, in the English language, means to "give it a try," perhaps without expecting good results, ...
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1answer
75 views

Autre signification de “Fossoyeur” dans le nom du youtubeur “Le Fossoyeur de Films”?

Le Fossoyeur de Films est le nom d'un youtubeur Français qui parles de filmes. Je vois bien le sens littéraire de "Fossoyeur", mais comment le comprendre on contexte? Est-ce tout simplement ...
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1answer
83 views

Conveying “let's agree to disagree”

What are some common ways to convey in French: "Let's agree to disagree"? Is Disons qu'on est pas d'accord idiomatic?
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2answers
34 views

Conveying “on board” (involved in a project or organization or working for a company)

The idiom "on board" may be used to imply involvement in a project or organization, or working for a company. E.g. Welcome to the team. It’s great/nice/good to have you on board. What are ...
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51 views

Conveying “to be in someone's good books”

The idiom "to be in someone's good books" means (informally) to be in a state in which one is liked or are treated nicely by someone. For example: He's trying to get back in his boss's good ...

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