Expressions. Idioms. Whatever you call them, they add spice to any conversation. Tossing a few French idioms into your French conversation adds that je ne sais quoi that makes learning a new language so much fun. Use French expressions to speak like a native. Worse case scenario, if you use an idiom incorrectly but you will make new friends by sharing a laugh. Either way, speaking French becomes a very enjoyable as well as enriching experience.

The French word for cat is "un chat" (the T is not pronounced) or "une chatte" (t pronounced) for a female cat. 

donner sa langue au chat

1 - Donner sa Langue Au Chat

Literally means "To give your Tongue to the Cat". To not be able to guess, to give up trying to guess something.

Quelle est la difference entre "Vous" et "Tu" en français? Tu donnes ta langue au chat ? Lis le blog de Linda 'Vous' Versus 'Tu'

What is the difference between "Vous" and "Tu" in French? You can't guess? Look at Linda's blog post 'Vous' Versus 'Tu' .


2 - Avoir un Chat dans la Gorge

Literally means "To have a cat in the throat". To have a fog in one's throat, be unable to speak clearly until you give a slight cough.

Bonjour, je m'appelle Sa... hum, hum, désolée, j'ai un chat dans la gorge. Je m'appelle Sarah.

Good morning, my name is Sa... hum, hum, sorry, I have a frog in the throat. Je m'appelle Sarah.


3 - Quand le Chat n'est pas là, les Souris Dansent

Means "When the cat is away, the mice dance"
People misbehave without supervision, when the cat's away the mice will play.

J'ai quitté la salle de classe pendant 5 minutes et mes étudiants… oh là là ! Quand le chat n'est pas là, les souris dansent !

I left the classroom for 5 minutes and my students... oh dear! When the cat's away the mice will play.


4 - Appeler un Chat un Chat

Literally means "To call a cat a cat". To say things like they are, to call a spade a spade.

Il faut appeler un chat un chat. Cet homme est un voleur.

You need to say things the way they are. This man is a thief.


pas un chat.jpg

5 - Il n'y a pas un chat

Means "There is not a cat (in sight)". There is no one or only a few people, but less than expected. There isn't a soul.

C'est triste, il n'y avait pas un chat à l'anniversaire de Susie.

It is sad, there was no one at Susie's birthday.


I hope you enjoy this post.

Once again, don't hesitate to ask me for more explanation during your tuitions with Perth French Tutor or to post a comment.

Lot of love to our feline friends!