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French Idioms





To know a language you have to know its idioms, and French is no exception. All forms of the language, from the highly colloquial to the utterly erudite use idioms. Browse below to find the idiom you need, or just explore the many ways you can express yourself in French.

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V


jamais de la vie
never; not on your life

je ne te demande pas l’heure qu’il est
mind your own business; it’s none of your business; who asked you?

je vous ai/t’ai demandé l’heure?
was I talking to you? (lit.: Did I ask you the time?)

je vous en donne mon billet
you can take my word for it

jeter de l’huile sur le feu
stir up a quarrel; add fuel to the fire

jeter l’argent par les fenêtres
squander money; throw money out the window

jeter un coup d’oeil
look around

jouer à chat
play tag (lit.: to play cat; n.b.: c’est toi le chat means you’re it in the game)

jouer la comédie
put on an act

jouer son joker
play one's trump card


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