5 French expressions to use in Cannes

The past two weeks the entire spotlights were on La Croisette. Cannes in South of France has been the centre of all attention. The movie festival was on and you feel like you would like to learn some nice French saying? You are in the right place!

1. Coup de foudre

Coup de foudre literally translates to a strike of lightning. In fact, it refers to love at first sight – one of those moments where you see a special someone, and can’t help but react immediately.

How to use that expression? ” Quand je t’ai vu pour la première fois, c’était le coup de foudre.” ” The first time I saw you, I fell head over heals.”

French words

2. Ça marche!

Ça marche literally means “that works.” Marcher is an interesting verb because it means both “to walk” and “to function/to work,” so it is not always transparent for English speakers.  You’ll use this expression much in the same way as its English equivalent. If you and some friends are making some plans, you’ll say ça marche to confirm that you’re on board.

How to use that expression? “On se retrouve à midi pour déjeuner? Oui, ça marche!” “Let’s meet at noon for lunch? Yes, that works!”


3. Bref.

Bref is only ever used to summarize something or to give one’s final impression of something after a lengthy story has been told, and it’s an easy little word to recall, due to that the English equivalent is almost the same; ‘in brief.’ Another synonyms would be ‘all in all’ or ‘in short.’

How to use that expression? “Elle m’a appelé hier et m’a dit qu’elle n’avait pas les mêmes sentiments pour moi, et qu’au final, elle veut qu’on reste amis. Bref, elle m’a largué.” “She called me yesterday and told me that she didn’t have the same feelings for me, and that in the end, she wants to remain friends. In short, she dumped me.”

Festival de Cannes

4. Poser un lapin

The literal translation of this expression is to put a rabbit. It means to stand someone up. When you are waiting for a person who never shows up, you can say that the person ” vous a posé un lapin“. It is used especially if your date don’t show up.

How to use that expression? “Il m’a posé un lapin lors de notre premier rendez-vous. He stood me up on our first date.”

Festival de Cannes

5. Être sur son 31

Like for many others, the origin of this expression is unknown. However, it could come from the word “trentain” which used to refer to a luxurious tissue. To be on your 31 therefore means that you are wearing your most beautiful clothes, that you are elegant. “Se mettre sur son 31″ is also used sometimes.

How to use the expression? “Wahou, tu es sur ton 31 aujourd’hui! Oui, j’ai un rendez-vous.” “Wow, you are very elegant today! Yes, I have a date.”

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