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  • Writer's pictureLina

Les expressions du "TEMPS"

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Bonjour ! J'espère que vous passez un bel été et que le français vous apporte de la joie et de la bonne humeur !

Today, I am sharing with you a few expressions related to "TIME", le "TEMPS"... Le "temps" qui passe (Time that goes), pas le "temps" qu'il fait ! (not the French word for "weather").

C'est pas "d'main" la veille/C'est pas demain la veille

"Demain" means "tomorrow". "La veille" means "the day before". When you say "c'est pas d'main la veille" you mean to say that what you expect to happen soon might not happen so soon and you sound quite critical and you express your disappointment about it. "I hope they are going to reopen the borders soon so we can travel the way we used to do before". Your friend might then respond: "c'est pas demain la veille !", meaning, we should probably not count on this so soon.

Quand les poules auront des dents !

Literally, "when hens have teeth" or "It will only happen when hens have teeth". This expression means that whatever you are expecting to happen, it will never happen! Unless you expect hens to have teeth!! It's a cheeky expression that shows how much you are annoyed about asituation that you are expeting to happen and that will just never happen. If a friend comes to you and asks you; "Quand est-ce que tu me laisses essayer ta nouvelle Ferrarri?"(When can I try your new Ferrarri?), you can say: "Quand les poules auront des dents !", meaning... NEVER !!! Jamais...

De temps en temps

Literally: "From time to time". Example: "D'habitude, je fais mes courses au marché, mais de temps en temps, il m'arrive d'aller au supermarché" (I usually go shopping to the market but I happen to go to the supermarket from time to time/once in a while". You could also use "parfois": "D'habitude, je fais mes courses au marché, mais parfois, il m'arrive d'aller au supermarché" (I usually go shopping at the market but sometimes I go to the supermarket". Note that the "s" and the "p" are both silent letters and should not be pronounced.

En temps voulu

Literally: "In wanted time" (In due time). Example: "Je vous donnerai plus d'informations en temps voulu" (I will send you more info in due time". You could also say "en temps utile", "en temps et en heure", "le moment venu".

Example : " Je vous donnerai plus d'infos le moment venu,".

En temps ordinaire

This is another way to say "d'habitude" (usually), "normallement" (normally) or "en général" (usually).

Exemple ; "En temps ordinaire, je prends du thé au petit déj', mais ce matin, ça me dit rien" (I usually have tea for breakfast but this morning I don't feel like so).

Tuer le temps

"Kill time". You can use this expression the same way as in English. When you have a lot of time for yourself but you don't know what to do with it, you can say "je suis allé faire une balade pour tuer le temps" (I went for a walk to kill time")

A temps

You are running to catch your train and you finally catch it ! "Ouf ! Je suis arrivé à temps !" (I arrived on time !). "Juste à temps !" (Right on time)

Elle a fait son temps

Do you have an old jacket you have been wearing for ages and that looks very old and damaged? Well, time to say "elle a fait son temps" as you are about to get rid of it and buy a new one !

Avec le temps...

Literally "as time goes". If you have just moved city because of work and you don't really like your new environnement, your friend can tell you: "Avec le temps, tu t'y habitueras" (As time goes, you'll get used to it".

Can you pronounce this tongue twister ?

"Tanpis si le temps tend au gris, tant qu'il ne pleut pas c'est aussi tentant !"

(Lit. Never mind if the weather (the sky) tends to be grey, as long as it does'nt rain, it also very tempting). Listen to audio here

A bientôt pour de nouvelles aventures en français !


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