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Questions tagged [expressions-idiomatiques]

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

4
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2answers
132 views

Can “veut” be used to mean anger or resent in this context?

I'm a novice with the language and I've been reading some Asterix to practice my understanding of it, I usually go back and forth between the English and French version to make sure I got things right,...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

C'est la fête du slip

How would you translate or explain "la fête du slip"? Is it often used in French and in which situation? Is it a very rude expression? (I already know what fête and slip mean.)
3
votes
5answers
828 views

How does one say “it would be my pleasure” in French?

I'm trying to figure out how to say “it would be my pleasure”, is it “ce serait mon plaisir” or “il serait mon plaisir” or is it neither? If so, what is the French equivalent?
6
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you say in French “if you don't mind my asking”?

I'm trying to figure out how to say “if you don't mind my asking” in French, not “if you don't mind me asking”. The question that will follow will be formal. I came up with “si cela ne vous dérange ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Accord avec avoir l'air

Je modifie légèrement la question pour qu'elle ne soit pas duplicata de la question ici : Accord de l'adjectif dans la formule « avoir l'air » EDIT Avec la locution ...
2
votes
1answer
527 views

« Gelé comme une balle » : de quelle balle s'agit-il ?

Gelé comme une balle. (Québec) (a) Raide comme une balle. (projectile ; argot : de manière rapide, brutale, inattendue) (b) Être rond comme une balle. (objet sphérique ; argot : ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

« Saoul comme une botte » : de quelle botte s'agit-il ?

Saoul comme une botte. (Québec) Certainement un haut degré (complètement, avec excès) par analogie ou métaphore. Le GPFC (1930) mentionne être en botte, qui m'est complètement inconnu, pour être ivre ...
2
votes
4answers
220 views

What’s the French equivalent to ‘why not?’

I’m doing my french homework and I’m curious if the french/francophone people say ‘why not’ as ‘pourquoi non’. If not, what’s the equivalent of it?
2
votes
1answer
113 views

C'est quoi la signification du mot « chaud » dans ce cas exceptionnel?

J'ai lu un commentaire sur le sujet de Stéphane Poussier, qui a été placé en garde à vue pour « l'apologie du terrorisme ». Voilà le commentaire: Après c'est chaud, si être un c-----d envoie en ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Poetic synonym for Garden

Disclaimer: I'm not a french speaker. I'm writing a short story in which I want to use a french phrase for a beautifully manicured garden/arboretum, something which would mean something similar to "...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Par ordre chronologique

Je veux utiliser la phrase ci-après (pour un exposé, un résumé, etc.): Unités de recherche concernées par ordre chronologique croissant. L'expression par ordre chronologique croissant est-elle un ...
5
votes
5answers
312 views

Is “oeuf à la coque” slang for “soldier” or “idiot”?

This is taken from the first paragraph of Céline's Voyage au bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night). I was dubious about it, since I was told this author had a very slangy style (and this ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

French sports metaphors

I'm looking for French sports metaphors/sayings. For example, "hit it out of the park" for American/baseball is widely used outside of sports. Another example is "come out fighting" for boxing. Are ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Some idiomatic explanations

Tout à fait directly translated would be 'all to do', how does this get inferred as 'absolutely'? je m’en fous directly translated would be 'I am in craziness', how does this get inferred as 'I don't ...
1
vote
1answer
348 views

What does 'Germaine' mean in French?

Bonjour, I am reading an old code base written by a previous French colleague. He named a variable 'Germaine', which is the percentage of hotel room booked. This variable is used to set price for the ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Quelle est la différence entre “Il en est de même” et “Il en va de même”

Quelle est la différence entre "Il en est de même" et "Il en va de même" When shoud I use one or the other?
2
votes
1answer
237 views

What are “formules à volonté”?

In French, I read a couple of times this expression, what does it mean? “formules à volonté”?
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Façons de dire « it's a lot of fun »

Je cherche des façons de dire des choses comme: « we had a blast », « it's a lot of fun », etc. Serait-il correct de dire quelque chose comme: « jouer au volleyball, c'est très amusant ! » ?
1
vote
3answers
85 views

Expression pour l'acte d'y penser encore

Disons que j'ai regardé un film captivant. Cela fait des heures que je l'ai vu mais j'y pense encore. Quelles expressions je peux utiliser pour exprimer cette situation ?
6
votes
3answers
334 views

“To go bananas” in French / en français

“To go bananas” is an expression that is meant to describe a massive loss of self-control, usually caused by anger or an unpleasant surprise, but also sometimes by other types of disturbance that ...
1
vote
5answers
193 views

Réponse à “C'est super de vous revoir !”

A: C'est super de vous revoir ! B: ___________ Quelle serait une bonne réponse ici ? Est-ce que "Moi aussi !" ou "C'est pareil !" sont possibles ?
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Source for self-learning the small idiomatic french words like “il-y-a” and “on-y-va”

Background: I have had some 20 hours of crash course french and a hectic but interesting 5 months working in France. So I have a basic understanding of what a conversation is about and I can make ...
3
votes
1answer
277 views

“Damn with Faint Praise” equivalent in French

A boss of mine once gave me this "compliment" in my annual evaluation: Nous lui avons confié des tâches simples, qu'il a réussi à accomplir. In English we call this "damning with faint praise", ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

How to say “cocking a snook” in French?

What's the translation of "cocking a snook" in French?
8
votes
2answers
960 views

Where does the idea that French people say “oh la la” all the time come from ?

As a French man living abroad, I often hear non-French people saying "Oh la la !" (along with an imitation of a kind of posh attitude) after someone talked about something that is typical of France or ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

“sans faille” ou “sans failles”

Le Wiktionnaire français donne un exemple pour l'expression idiomatique "sans faille" comme suit: Son raisonnement est sans faille. (Graphie "faille", Nom commun 1, 2. Défaut, premier et unique ...
2
votes
2answers
421 views

Why does “Je ne fais que regarder” mean what it does?

Apparently the below means "Thanks, I'm just looking". Merci, je ne fais que regarder. Can someone please explain this translation? I just see: "Thanks, I do not do that to look".
0
votes
1answer
165 views

Le meurtre comme idéal

Dans la conversation courante, de nombreuses expressions qui connotent une violence ou une destruction sont employées dans un sens mélioratif. Par exemple, par intensité croissante : ça claque ...
1
vote
2answers
316 views

Work in progress translation

What is the french translation of “a work in progress” in the context of a person being a work in progress? Is it “un travail en cours?”
5
votes
2answers
363 views

French idioms in email?

Bonjour a tous, I will be starting a job in Paris soon and I am in communication with the HR department. Here's an example of the way they email me. Bonjour Sean, Merci beaucoup pour ces ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Sens de “On ne souffle pas derrière”

Dans une émission québécoise nommé « Silence, on joue », l'animateur dit toujours aux participant-e-s qu'on ne souffle pas derrière avant qu'il ne pose une question. Quel est le sens de cette phrase? ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

“à en faire craquer ses fonds de culotte”: Is this expression used metaphorically?

I just heard this colloquial sentence: Mon copain raffole de ma tarte. À chaque fois, il s’en remplit la panse à en faire craquer ses fonds de culotte ! The idea of "eating tarts to his heart's ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

French equivalents of “cost an arm and a leg”

Are there French equivalents to this phrase? I.e. a phrase which means something is very expensive. I've only found "coûter les yeux de la tête". Are there more?
4
votes
1answer
113 views

How can I regain some French fluency in a short time?

I am a native speaker of English. Twenty-five years ago my French was pretty good, but I haven't really used it much since, and I'm rusty. I will be in France in three weeks' time and want to regain ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Utilisation de « souhait »

J'ai trouvé ce passage sur genius d'une célébrité qui s'appelle Jordy. Célèbre bébé-chanteur des années 1990, connu pour des horreurs d'une dance insipide à souhait telles que « Dur, dur, d'être ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Whether to include “en” in the phrases “en coûter” and “en passer par là”?

I just said in conversation: Je sais ce qu’il en coûte de recourir à cette méthode. Si vraiment on doit en passer par là, on pourrait peut-être au moins faire ... For the 1st "en" in "en coûter", ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Can someone explain this “à 13 ans”?

je viens juste de m'en rendre compte à 13 ans. This means 'I just realized it at 13'. I have no idea why? I read 'I come just of me, it returns account at 13 years.' Which obviously makes no sense ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Why does “toute façon” mean what it does?

Why does 'toute façon' mean 'anyway'? The literal translation is 'all' (toute) and 'fashion/way/method' (façon) I understand that in this context toute means any. But are there any other examples ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Difference between “pardon”, “excusez-moi” and “désolé”

I recently came back from Paris and while there if someone happened to bump me they would say 'pardon' instead of 'désolé' or 'excusez-moi' as I was taught to say in French classes. My understanding ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What other verbs can be used in the exclamatory expression “Regardez-moi ça !”?

Regarde(z)-moi ça ! "Regarder" is one of the most commonly used verbs with this idiosyncratic construction, there being more to the function of "moi" than meets the eye. I wonder what other verbs ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Meaning of tel in this context

In the example: 'Il y a un expert dans tel domaine veut partager sa connaissance avec des gens.' Why is tel used? I thought tel means 'such', so why in the above sentence is 'chaque' not used instead?...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How would you say, “You stole my heart”?

There's an English idiom, "You stole my heart", which means that someone has won our love or affection. Is there a similar idiom in French? Would the literal translation, Tu as volé mon coeur, be ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Donner les ailes?

I would like to say something like the follows, to express the magic of Internet: Internet donne les ailes à un secteur. Internet ajoute les ailes à un secteur. So is donner or ajouter a good ...
2
votes
2answers
356 views

Do these subtitles translate the French correctly? (c'est les boules de neige?)

In Amélie, there's a scene at the beginning, where Amelie knocks on Mme Wallace's door and asks about a boy who lived in her flat in the fifties. (Scénario français. Ma traduction.) Mme Walace:...
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vote
2answers
433 views

What's the logic of “Ça ne veut rien dire?”

I'm watching a TV show with English audio and French subtitles. It translates "This does not mean anything" to Ça ne veut rien dire in the subtitles. What is the logic behind Ça ne veut rien dire? A ...
1
vote
1answer
231 views

What is the meaning of the idiom “au bon pain” ?

What does the phrase/idiom “au bon pain” mean? I am translating it as “with the good bread” or “to the good bread”. How has this idiomatic expression arrived?
1
vote
4answers
497 views

What is the meaning of “ne serait-ce que” in a negative sentence?

I noticed there's a thread on this already here: The meaning of "ne serait-ce que"? but the answers don't seem to apply to the sentence where I encountered ne serait-ce que. aucun de nous ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

What is the meaning of the expression “aller bon train” here?

Les querelles vont bon train entre les différentes factions. I usually associate the expression "aller bon train" with "les rumeurs" spreading freely or "les préparations" going smoothly, but what ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Les expressions métaphoriques se référant aux animaux

Minute, papillon ! Le nom « papillon » se réfère avec humour à une personne qui fait preuve d'inattention lors d'une conversation, ayant du mal à se concentrer, ou bien qui ne fait que papillonner d'...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Why say “en mettre un temps” instead of “y mettre un temps”?

In frustration, you might say: Elle en met un temps ! But considering that you usually use the preposition "à" in the phrase "mettre du temps à faire", shouldn't you place "y" instead, at least ...