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French Proverbs





French proverbs offer insight into French culture, history, and society, and are often used in speech and writing. There is no substitute for knowing them, and if you can use them in yourself, so much the better. Below are all the standard proverbs used in French, along with English translations and explanations. Use the Search Box at left if you cant't navigate your way to what you want.

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


santé passe richesses
heath is better than riches (lit.: health exceeds riches/wealth)

si chacun se mêlait de ses propres affaires, tout irait pour le mieux
if we each attend to our own affairs, it would be for the best for all

si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait
youth is wasted on the young (lit.: if youth knew, if old age could)

souris qui n’a qu’un trou est bientôt prise
better safe than sorry; an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure (lit.: a mouse that has only one hole is quickly caught)

souvent femme varie (bien fol est qui s’y fie)
woman is fickle (lit.: women change often)


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