13 French expressions involving numbers

13 French expressions involving numbers

Use these expressions and show off your language and your maths skills at the same time

Être haut comme trois pommes

Literal translation: To be as high as three apples

English equivalent: To be knee-high to a grasshopper

Jamais deux sans trois

Literal translation: Never two without three

English equivalent: Bad things always come in threes

Voir trente-six chandelles

Literal translation: To see 36 candles

English equivalent: To see stars

Ça ne casse pas trois pattes à un canard

Literal translation: It doesn’t break three feet of a duck

English equivalent: It’s nothing to write home about

Avoir les deux pieds dans le même sabot

Literal translation: To have both feet in the same clog

English equivalent: To be lacking in get up and go

Un de ces quatre

Literal translation: One of these four

English equivalent: One of these days

À deux à l’heure

Literal translation: At two at the hour

English equivalent: At a snail’s pace

Se mettre en quatre

Literal translation: To put oneself in four

English equivalent: To bend over backwards, to go out of your way

Chercher midi à quatorze heures

Literal translation: To search for midday at 2pm

English equivalent: To complicate things, do things the hard way

Cent fois sur le métier remets ton ouvrage

Literal translation: One hundred times on the job returns your result

English equivalent: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Vivre à cent à l’heure

Literal translation: To live to 100 to the hour

English equivalent: To live life in the fast lane

Se mettre sur son trente-et-un

Literal translation: To put oneself on their 31

English equivalent: To get dressed up to the nines

En deux temps trois mouvements

Literal translation: In two times three movements

English equivalent: In no time at all, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail


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