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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is-- What are some popular French idioms?
In English, we have our fair share of idioms, like, “It’s raining cats and dogs!” or even, “What’s up?” Here are the Top 10 French idioms you should know.
First up is number 10. Faire la tête means "to sulk" and its literal translation is "to do the head." It’s used when someone isn’t happy about something and in a bad mood. For example, Elle a fait la tête toute la journée. "She sulked all day."
Number 9! You might have come across this one if you’ve seen any rom-coms in French. Coup de foudre literally means “a strike of lightning,” but as an idiom, it means, “love at first sight.” Pretty fitting, actually.
Number 8, ça marche, is one you’ll come across every day. Marcher means “to walk,” but ça marche means, “that works!”
Number 7, one that doesn’t make much sense, but you’ll often hear is, Il fait un temps de chien, literally, “It’s a dog weather,” meaning, “It’s terrible weather.”
Number 6 is a little funny. Arriver comme un cheveu sur la soupe literally means, “to arrive like a hair in the soup.” This is about entering a situation at the worst possible moment. Say you walked in on a terrible argument and it was really awkward, you could say, Je suis arrivé comme un cheveu sur la soupe. Literally, “I arrived like a hair in the soup.” It can also mean, “arriving suddenly, by chance.”
Number 5. Another idiom that uses food is mettre son grain de sel, literally, “to put one’s grain of salt.” It’s an idiom that means, “to give an unnecessary opinion.”
Number 4 is Donner sa langue au chat. It literally means "To give one's tongue to the cat," but it actually means, "To give up." For example if someone asks you to guess something and you have no idea what the answer is, you can say Je donne ma langue au chat. “I give up.”
Number 3 is faire la grasse matinée, which literally means, “to do a fat morning,” but people use it to say they slept in.
Number 2, Il s’agit de… is another useful idiom. Agir means “to act,” but when you say something like, Ce roman s’agit de... that means, “This novel is about.” You can also say, De quoi il s’agit? “What is it about?”
Lastly number 1 is, Ça coûte les yeux de la tête, which means, “It’s ridiculously expensive,” but literally means, “It costs the eyes out of the head!”
Pretty neat, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A bientôt, see you soon!

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