Explore French culture through its idiomatic expressions, from ‘enrichir ses revenus’ to ‘rendre les fins de mois moins difficiles.’ Join us as we delve into common idioms tested in exams like DELF, DALF, TEF Canada, and TCF Canada. These expressions enhance language skills and offer cultural insights into everyday life.

1. Enrichir ses revenus

This expression means “To increase income.” It signifies the act of making more money through different methods like working more, investing, or finding other ways to earn money.

Par exemple,

Pour enrichir ses revenus, il a décidé de commencer à travailler comme freelance le soir après son travail à temps plein.

(To increase his income, he decided to start working as a freelancer in the evenings after his full-time job.)

2. Rendre les fins de mois moins difficiles

“To make the end of the month less challenging” means managing money to ensure there’s enough to cover expenses and obligations by the end of the month. This might involve budgeting, careful spending, or finding extra ways to earn money.

Par exemple,

Pendant la première moitié du mois, ils économisent une partie de leur salaire pour rendre les fins de mois moins difficiles.

(During the first half of the month, they save a portion of their salary to make the end of the month less challenging.)

3. Faire rentrer de l’argent supplémentaire

“To bring in extra money” means finding ways to earn more money beyond your regular income. This could be through part-time jobs, freelance work, selling items, or other methods of increasing income.

Par exemple,

Si vous avez un espace libre chez vous, envisagez de le louer sur Airbnb pour faire rentrer de l’argent supplémentaire chaque mois.

(If you have extra space in your home, consider renting it out on Airbnb to bring in extra money each month.)

4. Améliorer son train de vie

“To improve one’s standard of living” means making changes in your lifestyle to make it better. This might include spending more on fun activities, upgrading where you live, or enjoying nicer things.

Par exemple,

Après avoir obtenu une augmentation de salaire, elle a décidé d’améliorer son train de vie en s’installant dans un quartier plus chic.

(After receiving a salary increase, she decided to improve her standard of living by moving to a more upscale neighborhood.)

5. C’est du gâteau

This phrase means “It’s a piece of cake.” It’s used to describe tasks or activities that are incredibly easy or effortless, implying that accomplishing them requires minimal effort.

Par exemple,

L’examen était tellement facile que j’ai fini en moins de la moitié du temps imparti. C’était vraiment du gâteau !

(The exam was so easy that I finished in less than half of the allotted time. It was really a piece of cake!)

6. C’est de la tarte

“It’s a cinch” is similar to “C’est du gâteau,” implying that something is incredibly easy or straightforward to do.

Par exemple,

Le travail de ce projet était si simple que je l’ai terminé en une heure seulement. C’était vraiment de la tarte.

(The work on this project was so simple that I finished it in just one hour. It was really a piece of cake!)

7. C’est de la brioche

“It’s a walk in the park” refers to something that is very easy or effortless. It suggests that the task at hand requires little to no effort to accomplish.

Par exemple,

La tâche était si facile que je l’ai accomplie sans aucun effort. C’était vraiment de la brioche !

(The task was so easy that I completed it effortlessly. It was really a walk in the park!)

8. C’est peanuts

“It’s peanuts” is a slang expression used to describe something that is very easy, simple, or not challenging at all.

Par exemple,

Faire quelques photocopies pour le rapport était tellement facile, c’était peanuts.

(Making a few photocopies for the report was so easy, it was peanuts.)

9. C’est à la portée de tout le monde

“It’s within everyone’s reach” means that something is easily achievable or attainable by anyone, implying that it’s not difficult to accomplish.

Par exemple,

Apprendre à utiliser ce logiciel est à la portée de tout le monde, il suffit juste de suivre les instructions.

(Learning to use this software is within everyone’s reach, you just need to follow the instructions.)

10. C’est comme un jeu d’enfant

“It’s like child’s play” suggests that something is extremely easy or effortless to do, likening it to tasks that children can do effortlessly.

Par exemple,

Assembler ce meuble était si simple, c’était comme un jeu d’enfant.

 (Assembling this furniture was so easy, it was like child’s play.)

11. C’est de la rigolade

“It’s a piece of fun” implies that something is very easy or straightforward, often used informally to describe a task or situation that is simple to manage or accomplish.

Par exemple,

Organiser cette fête n’était pas difficile du tout, c’était de la rigolade !

(Organizing this party wasn’t difficult at all, it was a piece of fun!)

12. C’est facile comme bonjour

“It’s as easy as pie” means that something is very easy or straightforward to do, likening it to the simplicity of making or enjoying a pie.

Par exemple,

Apprendre à faire du vélo est facile comme bonjour une fois que vous avez trouvé votre équilibre.

(Learning to ride a bike is easy as pie once you’ve found your balance.)

13. Mettre du beurre dans les épinards

This is a French expression that means “to improve one’s financial situation.” It refers to making adjustments or finding ways to enhance income, similar to adding butter to spinach to make it tastier. This phrase reflects efforts to improve one’s financial standing or overall quality of life.

Par exemple,

Depuis qu’elle a trouvé ce nouveau travail à temps partiel, cela met vraiment du beurre dans les épinards pour payer ses factures.

(Since she found this new part-time job, it really adds butter to the spinach to pay her bills.)

14. La cerise sur le gâteau/ Le bonus/ La meilleure chose

“The cherry on the cake” refers to an additional benefit or the best part of something already good. It signifies an extra, enjoyable element that enhances a situation.

Par exemple,

Après une journée de randonnée, regarder le coucher de soleil depuis le sommet de la montagne était la cerise sur le gâteau.

(After a day of hiking, watching the sunset from the top of the mountain was the icing on the cake.)

French idioms offer more than linguistic charm; they provide essential cultural insights for language learners. Embrace these expressions to deepen your connection to French language and culture. Let them guide you to a richer appreciation of French heritage.

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