10 expressions idiomatiques françaises expliquées

 

 

 

#1 Se planter :

The verb "planter" is used to describe the action of planting something. The verb "planter" has a completely different definition. Indeed, "planter" expresses the fact of being wrong, of making a mistake.

For example :
- J'ai acheté un pantalon, mais je me suis planté de taille.

Translatin in english : to fail
Literally translating :  to plant yourself

 

Se planter - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#2 Enlever les mots de la bouche :

This expression is used when a person expresses by speech what another person was going to say at the same time. It is a very pictured expression because the person literally takes the words out of his mouth.

For example :
- Cette maison est magnifique !

- Tu m'enlèves les mots de la bouche ! J'allais le dire.

Translatin in english et literally : take the words right out of someone's mouth 

 

Enlever les mots de la bouche - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#3 Raconter des salades :

The term "raconter des salades" refers to telling lies, lying.

To understand the origin of this expression, we have to go back to the 19th century.

At that time, salads with fruit or vegetables were started to be cooked. To create these salads, different ingredients were combined to make a mixture that was easy and pleasant to eat and swallow.

This expression is therefore a metaphor. Telling a lie is like preparing a salad: you prepare good and beautiful food that the other person will appreciate and eat without hesitation.

When one tells a lie, it is the same thing : one prepares beautiful arguments and beautiful sentences that the other will appreciate and will swallow without hesitation as well.

For example :
- Je me suis encore fait avoir ! 
- En même temps, il t'a raconté que des salades !

Translatin in english : to lie
Literally translating :  to tell salads

 

Raconter des salades - expressions idiomatiques françaises
 

 

 

#4 Ce ne sont pas tes oignons ! :

The expression "ce ne sont pas tes oignons" or "occupe-toi de tes oignons" means "it's none of your business".

This expression has several origins, one of which comes from a mark of independence of several women in central France.

Many women grew onions in their gardens, which they sold in the market once they were ripe in order to earn some money. So it was common to hear men telling women to take care of their onions when they didn't want them to interfere in their business.

For example :
- Tu étais avec qui samedi soir au cinéma ?
- Ce ne sont pas tes oignons !

Translatin in english : It is none of your business
Literally translating :  These are not your onions.

 

Ce ne sont pas tes oignons - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#5 Avoir un coeur d'artichaut :

The expression "avoir un coeur d'artichaut" refers to someone who falls easily and often in love.

This expression refers to the similarities between the artichoke and the human heart.

The artichoke is known for the way it is eaten, the leaves are removed to eat the heart. The man who can fall in love very quickly, very easily removes the layers that cover his heart and gives love to anyone.

For example :
- Mon amie a vraiment un coeur d'artichaut. Elle est amoureuse d'un garçon qu'elle a rencontré il y a trois jours.

Translatin in english : to fall easily in love
Literally translating : to have an artichoke heart

 

Avoir un coeur d'artichaut - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#6 S'emmêler les pinceaux :

"S'emmêler les pinceaux" refers to a person who is confused in his or her speech or reasoning. His or her speech is unclear and confused, even clumsy.

This expression has nothing to do with painting or art. The "pinces" and "pinceaux" refer, in popular parlance, to the end of a limb, i.e. the hand (hence the expression "se serrer la pince") and / or the foot.

For example :
- Je ne le crois pas du tout, il s'est emmêlé les pinceaux tout au long de notre discussion.

Translatin in english : to mix up
Literally translating : to tangle the brushes

 

S'emmêler les pinceaux - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

 

#7 Avoir le coeur sur la main :

The expression "Avoir le coeur sur la main" refers to an extremely generous person, always ready to help and support others.

The origin of the expression dates back to the 18th century. The heart is symbolically the seat of a person's emotions. Someone with the heart on his hand presents all his good feelings in the palm of his hand to others.

For example :
- Il est très généreux avec ses amis, il n'hésite pas à les aider sans rien demander en retour, il a le coeur sur la main.

Translatin in english : to be generous
Literally translating : to have the heart on the hand

 

Avoir le coeur sur la main - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#8 C'est du gâteau :

This expression is used to characterize something that is very easy to do.

The expression simply comes from the fact that a cake is simple to make. So when something is simple to make, it's cake.

For example :
- Les cours de français, c'est du gâteau ! 

Translatin in english : it's too easy !
Literally translating : It's a piece of cake !

 

C'est du gâteau - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#9 Avoir un coup de foudre :

The expression "avoir un coup de foudre" comes from the fact that when you first look at someone, your heart gets excited and takes a "hit" by the fact that you are truly struck by that encounter.

The addition of the term "lightning" expresses the idea of great speed.

For example :
- La première fois que je l'ai vu, j'ai eu un coup de foudre.

Translatin in english : love at first sight
Literally translating : to have a stroke lightning

 

Avoir un coup de foudre - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

#10 Tomber dans les pommes :

It means fainting, passing out.

It's not clear where the origin of this expression comes from. It is said to have originated from a phrase by author George Sand, "being in the baked apples", which referred to a strong state of tiredness.

For example :
- Je suis très inquiet pour elle. Hier, elle est tombée dans les pommes.

Translatin in english : to faint
Literally translating :  to fell in apples

 

Tomber dans les pommes - expressions idiomatiques françaises

 

 

These 10 French idioms now hold no secrets for you. You are totally ready to speak like a real Frenchman! 😉

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See you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷