In this video, I explain 14 French colloquial expressions. These expressions are often used by French people, so it is very important to know them when you are looking to learn French. Feel free to comment on the French expressions you don't understand 🤓
TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO
Bonjour tout le monde, I hope you are well and ready to speak French like a true Francophone. Today, we are going to see together 14 colloquial expressions that French speakers use in their daily lives.
If you are new to the channel I am Elisabeth. On this channel, I teach you a French spoken in everyday life. An authentic French that you can't always find in books. If you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any video.
Let's start right away with the first expression.
It works. Ça marche, in colloquial French, simply means ok, d'accord. You are answering someone, you are telling them that you agree. That you are OK with what they are saying or that you have heard them.
Here are a few contextualizations to help you better understand the use of the expression ça marche. Shall we meet at the restaurant at noon? Sure, see you there.
I'll pick you up at 7pm at work? Sure, we'll go across the street for a drink.
I'm going out for a jog. All right, have fun, see you later.
This colloquial expression "it works", it is really used all day long, it is used in everyday life and especially even if it is colloquial, it can also be used at work or for example at the store.
For example, if you are looking for something in a supermarket, you can ask the clerk.
Hi, I'm looking for the detergent. It's downstairs, next to the shampoo section. Oh yes, I see, it works, thank you very much.
You see, even though it's a colloquial expression, it can still be used in many different contexts and with different people.
Get someone drunk. It makes me drunk.
To get drunk, the verb saouler. Basically, we use it when we have drunk too much alcohol, we are drunk, we have alcohol going to our head, we feel the effects of alcohol. We are drunk.
In colloquial French, the expression saouler quelqu'un or when you say that someone gets you drunk, someone gets me drunk, it means that someone annoys you, bothers you, is a little annoying.
Boring is another colloquial word, it's someone who's annoying. So when you get someone drunk, for example, if I say I got my mother drunk all day, it means that you were a little bit annoying with her, you bothered her.
You can also say "I'm bored" to talk about a situation that is really...that annoys you, you're annoyed, you're jaded about it. The situation bores you, you are unhappy.
Here are a few contextualizations to help you better understand this expression. I got my dad drunk all day talking about that purse. I've been telling him about it all day. I hope he understood that this is what I wanted for my birthday. Thibault has been bugging me all day about Elsa. I understood that he was in love with her. He didn't have to tell me about it for four hours.
It really got me drunk. It bored me. The French teacher gave me lots of exercises to do this weekend. I'd rather go to the sea than work. I'm really bored, I'm fed up.
A mess is a mess. In colloquial language, we use the word "mess" to refer to a mess, to something that is not tidy or not well organized. It can be a mess, really, to say that a place is untidy.
So it can be physical, but it can also be a situation that we say is a mess. For example, an organization that is poorly managed, we'll say it's a mess.
Here's some background to help you better understand. The apartment is a mess. What did you do? Were there 60 of you at the party last night? We're going to have to tidy up. It's a mess.
It's really messing with my head. I don't know what to think anymore. I can't decide between Samuel and Jonathan. Samuel is nicer and Jonathan is more fun. My head is really messed up. I don't know which one to choose between the two.
To be in a hurry. In French, when we say that we are in a hurry, je suis à la bourre, it means that I am late. I am pressed for time. I'm going to be late for an appointment or arrive late somewhere.
Here are some contextualizations to help you understand. How do you manage to be late every morning when you get up at 6 a.m.? You have two hours to get ready and you manage to be late every day.
What time is it? Noon. Oh no, we're in a hurry. We have to be there by 12:30 and we have an hour to drive. We're going to be very late.
To be lazy, to be lazy.
To have la flemme in colloquial French means to feel lazy, to not feel like doing something, to not feel like going somewhere. You don't feel like doing anything.
Here are the contextualizations to help you understand. Are we going out tonight? Oh no, it's raining outside. Plus, I'm really lazy, I just want to stay on the couch and watch Netflix.
I'm always so lazy to throw away my empty shampoo bottles, I leave them lying around on the edge of the bathtub for weeks.
Shouldn't you be studying for your French exam? Yes, it's tomorrow but I'm really lazy. I just can't seem to get myself to study.
To make fun of someone or something. To make fun of someone or something or to make fun of a situation is an expression that means to make fun of someone or something.
It goes over our heads. We don't care about it, we don't value it. Here are some examples that will really help you understand the use of this expression.
Sarah told me that she thought your husband was very ugly. Frankly, I don't care what Sarah thinks, I don't care what she thinks. Did you buy cookies again? But are you making fun of me?
I already told you that I was on a diet and that I didn't want sweets in the house.
What? You went out yesterday when it's curfew? Frankly, I'm tired of being locked up, I don't care about curfew. I went out anyway, I needed to.
We saw it in one of the examples, we say fuck me to say you are making fun of me.
It is also very often said in French tu te fous de ma gueule. In French, gueule is the mouth of an animal, but in colloquial language, it is used to refer to a person.
You're making fun of me is: you're making fun of me. You're laughing at me, you're not serious.
It's crazy. Someone or something is crazy. When we say someone is crazy, something is crazy or a situation is crazy we can say it's crazy. We want to emphasize the excessive nature, it's too much.
We can use this word crazy to talk about a positive excess, to say that it was great or conversely, we can use crazy to show the excess, but the negative excess.
I will give you some examples, so you will understand better.
Last night was really crazy. I had so much fun. It was awesome. I had such a good time.
So, here, crazy is used as if to say the party was too good, was great. Here is an example where crazy is used in a negative way.
In this store, the prices of the clothes are crazy. It's way too expensive. Here, we press on the excessive character, but in the negative sense. It's really by the tone you use that we'll understand if it's positive or negative.
And also, of course, thanks to the context of the sentence. Here is another example. You gave me 150 roses? But you're completely crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm just madly in love with you. It's only natural.
Again here, it's crazy in the sense, you're a little crazy, but it's of course positive.
In colloquial language, this word crazy it also just means crazy when you're talking about a person who has psychological problems, it's not a very nice word. It's just crazy, but in colloquial language.
It sucks, suck.
In colloquial language, when we say it sucks, we may be referring to a situation or a place.
When we say that a situation sucks, we say "ah it sucks", we mean the annoying nature of a situation, we are not at ease, we are a little embarrassed. We are in a complicated situation.
It sucks, I'm in love with my best friend's ex. I don't know how to tell him. I'm in a really complicated situation. It really sucks.
This sucks, I dropped tomato sauce on my mom's favorite rug. I'm really worried about how she'll react when she gets home from work. I'm really embarrassed.
When we use, it sucks to talk about a place, we mean that it is a place where we do not feel safe, so we are insecure in the place.
The place sucks. The city sucks, a neighborhood can suck. Here is an example.
I'll give you a ride home after the party. This neighborhood really sucks at night. I don't want to let you walk there alone.
It's my thing, it's not my thing. In colloquial French, when we say that something is our thing, if I say c'est mon truc or if I say c'est ton truc, I mean that I'm good at something.
I love doing this thing. I'm really comfortable. Conversely, if I say it's not my thing, that means I'm not comfortable with an activity, with doing something.
Here are some examples, you will understand better. Math is really not my thing. I can't even calculate 2+2. I'm really not good at math. It's really not my thing.
Drawing is really your thing. You always make wonderful paintings. You're really good with painting, it's really your thing.
Driving is really not my thing. I do it when I have to, but I really don't like it.
A thing all by itself, it's a word that is used very often, many times a day, I would say. We use it to describe an object, so we want to talk about an object, but we don't say its name. We don't say the name of the object.
We'll just say this thing.
For example, I can say "ah can you pass me that thing? The TV remote control, you mean? Yeah, that's right, can you hand it to me?"
I didn't say the word remote, I just said a thing, this thing.
Laugh, make someone laugh. Laughing is a colloquial expression that is used very frequently.
It's simply a synonym for having fun, having fun, laughing.
We just want to say we're having a good time, we're having fun. And to make someone laugh is to make someone laugh, to give them a good time.
Sarah makes me laugh so much. Every time I spend the day with her, I laugh all day, I have a great time. We laughed all afternoon watching Friends on TV.
It's really too funny as a series.
Being on the ball. In colloquial terms, to be on the ball means to be super motivated, to have a lot of energy in you, to be really... ready to do something.
Emilie is really on top of her game this morning, in one hour she has already done four pages of French exercises. She is very motivated.
So how do you feel about your tennis match tomorrow? I'm on fire, I'm super motivated to beat my opponent.
I'm so excited about tonight's party, I can't wait to dance, I'm super motivated.
Péter les plombs. When I freak out in French, it means I'm going crazy or I'm going mad, I'm out of my mind, I'm angry, I freak out.
You can really use it because you're really, really going to break it, but often you use it to say I'm going to freak out instead.
This situation is driving me crazy. Here are two contextualizations.
I just found out my boyfriend was writing to another girl on Instagram and he even told her he loved her, I'm going to freak out, I'm going to break everything in the house.
No, that's not true, there's still no hot water. This is the fifth time this month I've had to wash my hair in cold water. I'm going to lose it. I can't stand this building anymore.
It's the pom-pom. It's the pom-pom in colloquial language, it's a synonym for two other expressions, maybe you know them. It's the last straw or it's the last straw. Basically, it's the last straw. You were already in a complicated situation.
There was a situation that was not very pleasant and something else was added and this is really too much.
Here are the scenarios to help you better understand. I kill myself at work. I arrive every day, an hour before everyone else. I leave every day later. And then I find out that everyone else is getting a raise.