As of June 30, 2018, live e-Tutoring has been discontinued.
Please click here for more information.

French Idioms (part II)

edited August 2016 in French
Here is another series of useful French idioms you can use:

histoire de (eess-twahr duh)
just to, as an excuse/occasion for

Example: “On va prendre un verre ? Histoire de voir du monde.” (Shall we go get a drink? Just to see (some) people.)

l’embarras du choix (lah(n)-bah-rah dew shwah)
too much to choose from, wide choice (lit. the embarrassment of choice)

Example: “Il n’y a que l’embarras du choix dans ce magasin.” (There’s more than you could choose from in this store.)

ne pas/plus faire de doute; ne faire aucun doute (nuh pah/plew fayr duh doot; nuh fayr oh-hkuh(n) doot)
no/no more doubt; beyond all doubt

Example:”Il est parti, ça ne fait plus de doute.” (He left, there’s no more doubt.)

ni vu ni connu (nee vew nee koh-n-ew)
unnoticed, incognito (lit. neither seen nor known)

Example: Pendant que tout le monde était occupé à regarder la télé, j’ai pris la boite de chocolats et je suis parti, ni vu ni connu.” (While everybody was busy watching TV, I tool the chocolate box and left, incognito.

par bonheur (pahr boh-nuhr)
fortunately, luckily (lit. by happiness)

Example:”J’étais sans clés, mais par bonheur, la fenêtre était ouverte.” (I was without keys, but luckily the window was open.)

s’annoncer bien/mal (sah-noh(n)-seh byeh(n)/mahl)
to look good/bad; to look promising/not promising (lit. to announce itself good/bad)

Example: “Regarde le temps. Ça s’annonce mal pour les vacances !” (Look at the weather. It doesn’t look promising for the holidays!)

se rendre compte (de quelque chose/que…) (suh rah(n)-dr(uh) koh(m)-t duh)
to be aware; to notice, to realize; to imagine (lit. to give back oneself count)


1) “Je ne me suis pas rendu compte qu’elle était si fatiguée.” (I didn’t realize she was so tired.)

2) ”Elle a payé 1000 euros pour ça, tu te rends compte?!” (She paid 1000 euros or this, you imagine?!)

tenir le coup (tuh-neer luh koo)
hold on/out (lit. to hold the hit)


1) “Tout ce travail ! Tu tiens le coup ?” (All this work! You’re holding on?”

2) “Je ne suis pas sûr si le moteur va tenir le coup.” (I’m not sure if the engine will hold out.)
Register or Sign In to comment.