11 Beautiful French Phrases About Life (That You'll Be Eager to Use in Conversations)

11 Beautiful French Phrases About Life (That You'll Be Eager to Use in Conversations)

Do you want to impress native speakers with your French?

Besides mastering French tenses and boosting your knowledge with French slang words, you have to work on French phrases about life.

These beautiful French phrases are full of wisdom and logic, and what's more important, they can be used in everyday situations.

Especially for you, we've chosen the 11 most beautiful French phrases about life that will help you speak French like a native. ( and to impress natives, of course)

So, without further adieu, let's dive in.

French Phrases About Life

French phrases give you the possibility to see the culture and history through French expressions. They provide useful advice, too.

And let's not forget that knowing these French words will help you sound more natural.

In the following lines, you can see some of the most common French sayings.

Au Petit Bonheur la Chance

Translation: To little happiness, luck.

Meaning: This phrase means that there is all about a little bit about luck.

For example, you've tried so hard to get the job you've wanted so much but to choose you, besides all your efforts, you need a little bit of luck.

Example: Nous pensons que tout arrive au petit bonheur la chance. ( we think that everything happens through a bit of luck)

Ce N’est Pas la Mer à Boire

Translation: It's not as if you have to drink the sea.

Meaning: Mainly used informally, this phrase means that something isn't that difficult to do or say. Precisely, 'it's not a big deal.'

You can use it when someone complains about something.

Example: Ce n’est pas la mer à boire d’aller au boulot en vélo. (It’s not such a big deal to ride my bike to work.)

Chacun Voit Midi à sa Porte

Translation: Everyone sees noon at his doorstep.

Meaning: Even though time is mentioned in this phrase, it doesn't have anything to do with time.

It means that everyone judges the situation according to his opinion, experience, or criteria.

It can also be used as an explanation that everyone has their own way of doing things.

Example: Chacun voit midi à sa porte, mec. (Whatever floats your boat, my man)

Il N’y a Pas Plus Sourd Que Celui Qui ne Veut Pas Entendre

Translation: No one is as deaf as the one who does not want to listen.

Meaning: You don't need any particular explanation to know how and when to use this phrase. It's one of those you memorize the minute you hear it.

In France, it is mainly used in Paris since Parisians like to debate. When, in a debate, comes a moment that everything both sides have said is nonsense, one or both sides may use it.

It can be used for stubborn people and those who are arrogant and don't want to listen to any advice or any opinions different from theirs.

Example: Il n'est pas de pire sourd que celui qui ne veut écouter (There's no one more deaf than he who does not want to listen.)

La Nuit Porte Conseil

Translation: The night carries advice.

Meaning: When you have some difficult decision you have to make, it's better to go to bed, sleep through the night, and in the morning, you'll better see things from every perspective.

In English, the perfect equivalent would be 'sleep on it.'

Example: Je ne sais pas si je dois accepter l'invitation. As tu coucher et penses le matin. La nuit porte conseil. ( I don't know whether to accept the invitation. Go to bed and think about it in the morning. Sleep on it.)

Mettre Les Points Sur Les I

Translation: To put dots on letter i

Meaning: You've made sure that all the information is what it should be, double-checked, and to speak clearly to avoid any misunderstanding.

Precisely, it means 'to make things clear,' or 'to clarify things.'

Example: En te remerciant, je mets les points sur les 'i'.( While thanking you, I put dots on the 'i.')

Mieux Vaut Prévenir Que Guérir

Translation: It's better to prevent than to heal

Meaning: This phrase is widely used among the French. It is used in situations that you have to take measures in order to avoid consequences.

In English, an ideal equivalent would be 'better safe, than sorry,' or 'a stitch in time saves nine.'

Example: J'ai toujours été un ‘mieux vaut prévenir que guérir’. (I've always been a ‘better safe than sorry’ guy.)

On N’est Pas Sorti de L’auberge

Translation: We haven't left the hostel!

Meaning: In English, there is a phrase 'we're not out of the woods yet.'

This phrase is usually used when you still aren't close to your goal, not even in the middle of it. The hard parts are coming, and you've already had a hard time progressing.

Example: Si tu continues à faire des pauses toutes les dix minutes, on n'est pas sortis de l'auberge! ( If you keep taking breaks every ten minutes, we won't leave the hostel!)

Petit a Petit, L’oiseau Fait Son Nid

Translation: Little by little, the bird makes its nest.

Meaning: This proverb is also widely used. 

Even if you don't understand French, you can feel optimism in this phrase.

It means that even though you haven't accomplished anything right now, you're on half the way, you've accomplished something. You moved forward. And just like birds make their nests one head of time, you will succeed in your goal with patience and effort.

Use this phrase to remind yourself never to give up on your dreams.

Example: Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid, des grandes choses peuvent être réalisées. ( Little by little, like the bird makes its nest, great things can be achieved.)

Quand On a Pas ce Que L’on Aime, Il Faut Aimer ce Que L’on a

Translation: When one doesn't have the things one loves, one must love what one has.

Meaning: Today, everyone wants to have everything. Mainly, that's the grief talking. So, this is why this French phrase is ideal to mention.

It means that people have to be satisfied and happy with what they have and avoid things that are out of their reach.

So, remember this wisdom, use it at the right time, and be grateful and appreciate what you already have.

Example: Je veux avoir une grande maison et beaucoup d'argent. Quand on a pas ce que l’on aime, il faut aimer ce que l’on a. (I want to have a big house and lot of money. When one doesn’t have the things that one loves, one must love what one has.)

Qui Vivra Verra

Translation: He who lives shall see.

Meaning: This is perhaps the most widely used phrase among the French. It can be explained as no matter how hard we try and want to predict the future. Sometimes it isn't possible. However, we can discover it by staying safe and strong. You can use it as a reminder when the other part is nervous about the future and doesn't enjoy the moment. 

The English equivalent is 'the time will tell.'

Example: Volerons-nous jamais dans le ciel? Qui vivra verra. (Will we ever fly in the sky? Time will tell.)

Final Thoughts

Adding these special French phrases to your vocabulary list not only will make you sound smart in every conversation and full of wisdom, but also someone who gives a great effort to master the language.

Which of these beautiful French words do you like the most? Please share it with us in the comments below!

What does the phrase Ce N’est Pas la Mer a Boire mean?

Mainly used informally, this phrase means that something isn't that difficult to do or say. Precisely, 'it's not a big deal.' You can use it when someone complains about something.

What does the phrase Chacun Voit Midi a sa Porte mean?

Even though time is mentioned in this phrase, it doesn't have anything to do with time. It means that everyone judges the situation according to his opinion, experience, or criteria. It can also be used as an explanation that everyone has their own way of doing things.

What does the phrase La Nuit Porte Conseil mean?

When you have some difficult decision you have to make, it's better to go to bed, sleep through the night, and in the morning, you'll better see things from every perspective. In English, the perfect equivalent would be 'sleep on it.'

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