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The 10 Most Useful French Expressions to Boost Your French

Do you want to boost your conversational French?  Here are 10 most common  French expressions to help you understand native speakers and improve your conversational skills in French.

These idiomatic expressions may seem little weird at first, but they are actually really fun to learn. 

1) Faire la grasse matinée

Faire la grasse matinée

“Faire la grasse matinée” literally means “to do the fat or greasy morning”, but it  doesn’t have anything to do with a full breakfast. It means ‘to sleep in’. 

Ex: J’aime faire la grasse matinée le dimanche. (I like sleeping in on Sundays)

2) Avoir la patate

Avoir la patate

“Avoir la patate” literally means to “have the potato.“
It actually means that you are in a good mood or energized.
Ex: Est-ce que tu as la patate aujourd’hui? / Are you in a good mood today? 

3. Accrocher ses patins

Accrocher ses patins

“Accrocher ses patins” is a Quebec expression which means -to retire! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The expression refers to hockey, and it means “to hang up one’s skates”. Very Canadian, eh? 

4. Avoir la pêche

Avoir la pêche

“Avoir la pêche” is translated as “have the peach”. It means “to feel peachy, to be full of energy”! 

According to, the expression might come from Chinese Culture in which the peach is a sign of immortality and good health. 

Ex: J’ai la pêche aujourd’hui, et toi? / I’m full of energy today, and you? 

5. C’est parti !

c'est parti

C’est parti” is a very common French expression that you can easily use everyday.

It literally means “it has left” and we usually use in spoken French to say “here goes, here we go and let’s go”.

6. S’occuper de ses oignons

S'occuper de ses oignons

This idiomatic expression is “s’occuper de ses oignons” which is translated to “taking care of one’s onions”.

Do you want to take a wild guess on what this expression means?  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
”S’occuper de ses oignons means “-to mind one’s own business”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So, if someone is meddling in your own business, you could say: “occupe-toi de tes oignons!”/ mind your own business!  ⠀

7. C’est simple comme bonjour !

C’est simple comme bonjour !

“C’est simple comme bonjour” is used for anything effortless. 

It means “it‘s simple as hello” and we usually use in spoken French to say “easy peasy. 

Do you think that French is easy peasy? C’est simple comme bonjour? 

8. Être à l’ouest

Être à l’ouest

“Être à l’ouest” which is translated as “To be in the west”. Do you want to take a wild guess on what this expression means? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Être à l’ouest” means to be out of it/out of touch with reality. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here is the example for you: 

J’ai dormi seulement cinq heures, je suis complètement à l’ouest aujourd’hui. / I only got five hours sleep, I’m really out of it today. ⠀⠀

9. Tomber en amour

Tomber en amour

This expression is commonly used in Québec, and it is translated as ”-to fall in love“ in English. 

In France, we mostly say “tomber amoureux/amoureuse”. 

10. Poser un lapin

Poser un lapin

“Poser un lapin” is translated as ”-to put down a rabbit“ in English. 

We use it to describe the action of not showing up to a meeting without telling anyone. In English is ”a no show”.  

Would you like to learn more French expressions? Follow us on Instagram!


Umut Incesu

French teacher - Smiling person
With over 5 years of experience teaching French to adults in Canada and a PhD in French Studies from Western University in London, Canada, I am a highly qualified and experienced French teacher.
I have developed unique downloadable learning materials that focus on improving both speaking and understanding skills in French.
If you're looking to learn French or improve your language skills, I'm here to help.
Book a lesson with me today and start your journey towards mastering French!
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