French Idioms to Know

Learn some idioms in French

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What do faire le pont or mener au bateau mean in French ? Learn some French idioms, with exercise and audio!

Learn informal French language and slang vocabulary with authentic audio recordings by native speakers of French from France - Buy Informal and Spoken French as an e-book! Informal and Spoken French includes more than 200 pages of informal speech, slang vocabulary, spontaneous listening resources with transcripts and exercises, and authentic French-language realia images from Europe. This e-book also comes with 91 mp3s recorded by several native speakers and FREE lifetime updates. Download a sample of Informal and Spoken French (including the table of contents). The companion e-book, French Language Tutorial, is also available. Buy the two French e-books together at a discounted price!

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For more French learning through authentic videos, I recommend Yabla French and FluentU. For audiobooks and lessons of modern French, try French Today. I've recommended some French books at Amazon, and Interlinear books are great for learning French by reading literal translations in English. Need even more French? Try the French courses at Udemy

More French Idioms Exercises

être dans ses petits souliers - to not feel comfortable
avoir des oursins dans la poche - to be stingy, cheap
faire d'une pierre deux coups - to kill two birds with one stone
ne pas être de la dernière pluie - to not be born yesterday
pendre la crémaillère - to have a house-warming party
vendre la mèche - to let the cat out of the bag, to tell a secret
n'y voir que du feu - to be taken in / to be had
ne pas y aller avec le dos de la cuillière - to not be subtle about something
faire un chèque en bois - to write a bad check
manger les pissenlits par la racine - to push up daisies, to be dead and buried
tourner autour du pot - to beat around the bush
se mettre à table - to confess, come clean
mettre des bâtons dans les roues de quelqu'un - to throw a monkey wrench in someone's business
reprendre ses billes - to renege on a deal
un coup d'épée dans l'eau - a wasted effort
être au four et au moulin - to be in two places at once
faire le pont - to take a long weekend
tirer les plans sur la comète - to count one's chickens before they have hatched
ce n'est pas la mer à boire - it's not as bad as all that
c'est au bout du monde - it's halfway around the world
ce n'est pas le Pérou - it's nothing to write home about / it's no great fortune
tirer le diable par la queue - to barely get by, have a hard time
il ne faut pas déshabiller Pierre pour payer Paul - you shouldn't rob Paul to pay Peter
parler à quelqu'un à brûle-pourpoint - to ask someone point-blank
raconter des histoires à dormir debout - to tell tall tales
prendre la poudre d'escampette - to leave quickly
tirer son épingle du jeu - to get out of a difficult situation
mener en bateau - to lead someone on, to lie


Informal French Slang with free audio and exercises


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