Questions tagged [formulation-idiomatique]

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14
votes
5answers
21k views

How do you ask “is it ok if…”?

How would you ask something along the lines of “Is it ok if…?” as in “Is it ok if I park here?” or “Is it ok if I bring my sister?”? Google translate suggests either "Est-ce que correct si…" or ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a French phrase to say 'I wouldn't put anything past her'?

I want to write a short message addressed to a friend of mine. Unfortunately my French is not good enough to come up with a French phrase to say the phrase put in italics. It was luck and luck ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Dans une lettre de motivation: comment dire « Je suis quelqu’un qui… » plus professionnellement?

Je voulais dire que « Je suis quelqu’un qui aime bien expérimenter avec les nouvelles technologies » mais je pensais que la phrase trop formelle. Il y a une autre manière à le dire ?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the correct way to say “I have a bad accent” ?

What is the best way to self-effacingly say: I speak french with a bad accent. Would it be: Je parle français avec un mauvais accent anglais. The difficulty I'm having is in distinguishing ...
8
votes
7answers
263 views

Manière idiomatique de dire que les gens malhonnêtes ont tendance à voir le mal partout

J'écris un livre en ce moment, et un de mes personnages est un ancien voleur, arnaqueur et menteur qui s'est repenti (appelons le X). Un autre personnage (appelons le Y) lui pose une question de ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Translation of “sounds good”

— A: "Let's meet tonight at 8pm." — B: "Sounds good!" What would be a good translation of "Sounds good"? Google Translate suggests "Ça m'a l'air bien", but I'm not sure if it's too formal. — ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to say, “It takes time”?

What is the best way to say, "It takes time"? I see in one place, "ça prend du temps." But itrans & google say, "Il faut du temps." and somewhere else I have seen, "Il met du temps." Are they ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Normal way of saying “I'm sure you'd agree”

I want to say a rough equivalent of "I'm sure you'd agree that it's important to ...". I don't really recall hearing a French equivalent, so I've written "Je suis sûr que vous êtes d’accord que c'est ...
7
votes
5answers
934 views

What is a natural French phrase for 'I've never seen you two apart'?

Having consulted the online dictionary, 'séparés' appears to be able to be used for 'apart'. But doesn't 'séparés' seem like the word for the romantic relationship going bad and the couple being ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Most idiomatic way to say “Could you repeat that?”

I've generally always asked fast-talking native French speakers to repeat something with the request Pourriez-vous le répéter ? However, while this does get the point across, in English this would ...
5
votes
4answers
684 views

How do you say you know OF something?

Saying you know of something means that you only have heard a little about it. You’ll most commonly hear it like this: Do you know Terry? I know of him. This means you might have heard about ...
5
votes
3answers
165 views

Is there a French phrase to say 'you're not green in this'?

I checked the online dictionary and 'un bleu' appears to signify 'a person who is green, inexperienced'. But what is a natural French phrase to say 'I guess you're not green in this' in negative? ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to express “just because … doesn't mean …” in colloquial French ?

Am I correct in assuming that you can express this idea in the following two different ways? The sentence structure of 1B and 2B seems more complicated than 1A and 2A, but do they mean the same thing? ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Phrasing “I just came from the museum by foot”: “Je viens du musée à pied”?

I want to say "I just came from the museum by foot" is "Je viens du musée à pied" correct? I know that "je viens de" translates to "I just came from" but I am unsure if it changes when you have a ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

How would you say “You forget wearing what you're wearing”?

It sometimes happens that something you're wearing on your body, such as a wrist watch, shoes, contact lenses, glasses and so on, feels so comfortable, due to their being lightweight or thin, that you ...
5
votes
4answers
193 views

What is a natural French phrase for 'You could do worse than'?

In order to recommend to someone something you think is a good idea, 'You could do worse than' is said like an understatement. It's like saying, 'Why don't you at least do something, there are a lot ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

It is satisfactory when… I feel satisfaction when

Je cherche une expression qui exprime le sens de it is satisfactory when... ou I feel satisfaction when... ou même I find satisfaction in... J'ai essayé de formuler ces expressions mais je ne suis ...
4
votes
4answers
895 views

How to translate “Can't stop” to French?

Is it correct to say: Je ne peux pas arrêter de les regarder, tes peintures. Does it convey the meaning of "can't stop looking at your paintings"?
4
votes
3answers
128 views

How do you expect to — ?

In the French language, I'm searching for a natural way to say, How do you expect to break a habit by willpower alone which you couldn't for the last thirty years? and I'm having difficulty in how ...
4
votes
4answers
105 views

Comment traduire « has not risen to the mantle of the office » : « n'a pas endossé le costume de sa fonction » ?

[...] But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office. [ « Mitt Romney: The ...
4
votes
4answers
210 views

Natural French phrase for 'you got a strange idea for fun'?

The vocabulary needed seems simple enough but I'm struggling with composing a whole sentence. Is there a natural French phrase to say this kind of things half jestingly? (You wave at total strangers ...
4
votes
1answer
18k views

Ways to express “what's happening”, “what happened”, or “what will happen” in French

I've been having trouble looking for ways to say "what happened", "what's happening", and "what will happen" in French. I feel it's "Ce qui s'a passé", "Ce qui se passe", and "Ce qui se passera". ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

How do you say “I'm leaving”?

When one is with other people, perhaps in a room or house, or perhaps outside in any place, and one is leaving them to go somewhere else, one might say in English, “I’m leaving”. What is the ...
4
votes
3answers
602 views

catch the eco-friendly bug

In the French language, I'm searching for a natural way to say, Hah, you've caught the eco-friendly bug or what! My intention in saying this is to say that I was surprised to see someone who always ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to answer “ça a été ?” ?

The waiters would often ask "ça a été ?" after taking a dish. I sometimes lose my concentration and can't come up with anything more than a "oui oui" or "oui c'etait bien" although I know these are ...
4
votes
3answers
208 views

“How do you understand this?” in French?

I want to encourage the person to re-tell something with their own words or reflect on certain topic. The closest I can come up with is "Comment comprenez-vous cette information?".
4
votes
2answers
161 views

In French, how do you say “brain-meltingly difficult”?

We were having a conversation in English, and someone passed some remark about the mind-numbingly steep learning curve involved in mastering the Arabic language: I constantly thought my brain was ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Does the inclusion of “bien” make a question a non-question?

Mais au fait, y en avait bien un autre avec vous ? {vs} Mais au fait, y en avait un autre avec vous ? I wonder if the use of "bien" makes it a statement, something along the lines of: Moi qui ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How to say: 'sorry for the delayed answer'

I want to reply to an email that I should have answered two weeks ago already. How can I say the following in an idiomatic manner? 'sorry for the delayed answer' The email's tone is rather ...
4
votes
2answers
944 views

Translation of “I was there”

-- A: Were you at the party yesterday evening? -- B: Yes, I was there! What should be the translation of "I was there"? -- A: Est-ce que tu as été à la fête hier soir? -- B: Oui, j'y ai ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

Natural French phrases for 'the self-destructive streak in me'?

How do French people usually describe the notion 'the self-destructive streak in me' as below? I just can't seem to get out of this vicious circle of constantly and consciously making bad decisions ...
3
votes
4answers
790 views

How to say, “We are nearly there.”

What is the best way to say, "we are nearly there"? Is it correct to say, "Nous sommes y presque", or is, "nous sommes presque là", better, or?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I say “How can I be of any help?”

I know how to say "How can I help?" but I want to get the level a little bit higher by saying "How can I be of any help?" What's the best way of saying this in French?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Si c’est le cas, pourquoi dit-on « à la retraite » mais « en préretraite » dans le contexte d’arrêter de travailler ?

Pendant une conversation avec un ami français, je lui ai dit: «Je ne suis pas encore en retraite mais seulement en préretraite» ... ... auquel il m’a répondu que même si mon usage de «en ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

“There's no harm in” — as a mild advice

In the French language, I'm searching for a natural way to say, There's no harm in applying a little coat of paint, though. My intention in saying or writing this is to express that someone has a ...
3
votes
3answers
155 views

Equivalent of “this coming from”

For example: Haha, that's the worst idea you've ever had! What?! This coming from a guy who thought [blah blah] was a good idea?! Is there any way to translate the 'this coming from' into ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I say “it was the first thing that came to mind”?

I was wondering how do I specifically say "it was the first thing that came to mind" as in this instance I have to describe an image (about badminton) but am wary of the different meanings and ...
3
votes
3answers
100 views

“Show/prove otherwise” en français

J'essaie d'exprimer l'idée de « prove otherwise » dans la phrase suivante L'horreur de la situation mondiale 'proves otherwise' Je pense qu'il faut utiliser « prouve le contraire ». Cet usage est-...
3
votes
3answers
237 views

What is a natural French phrase for 'As if I could find them in just about any shop!'

Having consulted the online dictionaries, I tried to come up with a French phrase for 'As if I could find them in just about any shop!', but I can't think of an appropriate phrase describing the ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

Is it natural to say “mon Français”?

In English you might say “my Spanish is not very good,” in reference to your language skills, or “I’m trying to improve my Japanese.” Is the same true in French?
3
votes
1answer
544 views

“On” vs “nous” in spoken French

Do people prefer to use on in everyday speaking, even in formal situations? Or will they use nous? For example, if you are at a gathering and you say "Nous sommes si chanceux d'être ici". Would that ...
3
votes
4answers
234 views

Comment traduire « they had it/we all have it comin' » : du spécifique au proverbial ?

Avertissement : divulgâcheur/spoilers (film Unforgiven, 1992) (1) Kid: You know how I said I shot five men? It weren't true. That Mexican who come at me with a knife? I just busted his leg with a ...
3
votes
3answers
160 views

To have the shit beaten out of

How does one translate into French "I had the shit beaten out of me"? I am writing, in French, a short biography of the Australian painter Ben Quilty. He uses these words to describe his time at ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Suitable translation for maxim statements

Occasionally I'd like to write something in French that is of a maxim form: To be A is to be B E.g.: “to be loved, is to be known” This is somewhere between uncommon and idiomatic in structure, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Different ways to say “I have some”

Is “J'en ai” the best way to say “I have some”? What's the difference between “J'en ai” and, “j'ai un peu”, or “j'ai quelque chose”?
3
votes
1answer
690 views

What is an idiomatic way of saying “have always been, and will always be” in French?

In English, this expression is sort of idiomatic, emphasising the meaning of "forever". How do you say the following sentence, for example, in French? I have always been, and will always be there ...
3
votes
1answer
401 views

How to say in French “Spent two years in doing it” and “Took two years to do it”?

Mon corps a mis deux ans à s'y habituer. Mon corps a pris deux ans à s'y habituer. Ça m'a pris deux ans pour mon corps de s'y habituer. Ça a pris deux ans à mon corps de s'y habituer. I want ...
2
votes
3answers
348 views

How to say “Every five days” in French?

Which one would a native speaker say (most preferably) My attempt: Toutes les journée cinq. Google Translate : Tous le cinq jours.
2
votes
4answers
186 views

French: You know you hate the whole thing as much as I do

I'd like to express the following sentence in French. You know you hate the whole thing as much as I do. My try is this. Is it okay? Tu sais que tu detestes toute la chose autant que moi.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to express “I’m looking forward to vacation”?

How to say “I'm looking forward to summer vacation” in French? I want to tell my French friend that I’ve learned so much for university and now I’m looking forward to vacation.