Easy Learning French Idioms
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Easy Learning French Idioms

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eBook - ePub

Easy Learning French Idioms

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About This Book

A unique guide to communicating in French. It will help learners discover expressions and idioms to make their French more natural and fluent, while developing an awareness of French culture.

Designed for learners of French of all ages, whether you are learning at school, in evening classes, for business or to go on holiday.

The text consists of 250 quirky and interesting French idioms which are arranged into different themes, and are given with simple example phrases to show them in context. Clear and concise language notes provide information on the meaning and background of some idioms, while handy culture notes help explain any cultural differences.

Combined with a text which has a selection of illustrations, the Collins Easy Learning French Idioms takes you beyond beginner level and expands your knowledge of frequently used, natural French expressions.

• Get it right: key idioms and example phrases help improve your knowledge of real French.

• Get there fast: clear themes help guide you to the type of idiom you're looking for.

• Have confidence: a fun, useful guide to common French idioms helps you increase your knowledge of natural French and French culture.

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être aux anges

“to be with the angels”
= to be in seventh heaven
exact equivalent of the English, to be in seventh heaven also exists in French, être au septième ciel.
Emmanuelle était aux anges quand on lui a appris qu’elle venait de gagner un safari en Afrique.
Emmanuelle was in seventh heaven when she heard that she had won a safari in Africa.

reprendre du poil de la bête (informal)

“to have more of the hair of the beast”
= to be on the mend again
The meaning of the English expression hair of the dog only relates to alcohol: the French is a more positive expression; it comes from the belief that if you apply the hair of the beast that bit you to your wound, you will feel better.
Hélène est sortie de l’hôpital il y a quelques jours seulement, mais à la grande surprise de tous les médecins, elle a déjà repris du poil de la bête.
Hélène only came out of hospital a few days ago but to the great surprise of all the doctors she is already on the mend again.

sabler le champagne

“to drink the champagne in one go”
= to crack open the champagne
Les résultats officiels du vote n’ont pas encore été annoncés, mais au siège du parti on se prépare déjà à sabler le champagne.
The official results of the vote have not yet been announced but at party headquarters they are already preparing to crack open the champagne.

se porter comme un charme

“to feel like a charm”
= to be as fit as a fiddle
Also aller comme un charme. A healthy glow sometimes involves a bit of magic!
— Tiens, j’ai croisé David au marché ce matin, et il m’a demandé de tes nouvelles.
— Ah ? Et comment va-t-il ?
— Il se porte comme un charme.
“Hey, I ran into David at the market this morning, and he asked after you.”
“Oh? And how is he?”
“He’s as fit as a fiddle.”

de derrière les fagots (informal)

“from behind the firewood”
= extra-special
The idea here is that the oldest (and best) wine was stored in the back of the cellar, behind the piles of firewood.
Ce soir dans notre émission, une programmation musicale de derrière les fagots, concoctée spécialement pour vous par notre célèbre animateur, DJ Rich !
This evening we’re broadcasting an extra-special programme of music devised specially for you by our famous presenter, DJ Rich!

pas piqué des hannetons (informal)

“not eaten by cockchafers”
= brilliant
Also pas piqué des vers, literally not eaten by worms.
Quand sa voiture toute neuve est tombée en panne pour la troisième fois en un mois, Patrick a écrit à son concessionnaire pour se plaindre. J’ai lu la lettre : elle était pas piquée des hannetons !
When his brand new car broke down for the third time in a month, Patrick wrote to his dealer to complain. I’ve read the letter: it’s brilliant!

faire la grasse matinée

“to make a fat morning”
= to have a lie-in
Pendant la semaine on se lève à 6h00 tous les jours, donc en général on profite du dimanche pour faire la grasse matinée.
During the week we get up at 6am every day so we generally make sure we have a lie-in on Sundays.

être à l’aise dans ses baskets (informal)

“to be fine in your trainers”
= to be comfortable with yourself
= to be at ease with yourself
Also être bien dans ses baskets.
Yohann, vingt ans, à l’aise dans ses baskets
avec son sourire irrésistible et une brillante carrière d’architecte devant lui.
Yohann is a 20-year-old who’s very much at ease with himself. He has an irresistible smile and a glittering career as an architect ahead of him.

être aux petits oignons (informal)

“to be cooked with pickling onions”
= to be perfect
A dish cooked with small onions is said to be a perfect dish. You can also find the expression soigner quelqu’un aux petits oignons (to treat somebody like a king (or queen)...

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