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List of French proverbs

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Here is a collection of French proverbs. Where an English proverb is equivalent, the English proverb is given. Otherwise, a literal translation is provided.

  • À bon chat, bon rat. -- "A good cat, a good rat."
  • À la guerre comme à la guerre. -- "All's fair in love and war."
  • À la Sainte Catherine, tout arbre prend racine.
  • Araignée du matin, chagrin; araignée du soir, espoir.
  • Avec des "si" on mettrait Paris en bouteille. -- "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."
  • C'est le ton qui fait la chanson. -- "It's the melody that makes the song."
  • Cherchez la femme. -- "Look for the woman. " That is, a woman is probably at the heart of the quarrel.
  • Comme on fait son lit on se couche. -- "You made your bed, now lie in it."
  • La fin justifie les moyens. -- "The end justifies the means."
  • La nuit, tous les chats sont gris. -- "All cats are grey in the dark."
  • Les amis de nos amis sont nos amis. -- "Friends of our friends are our friends."
  • On revient toujours à ses premiers amours. -- "One always returns to his first loves."
  • Pierre qui roule n'amasse pas mousse. -- "A rolling stone gathers no moss."
  • Qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf. -- "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile."
  • Si tu veux la paix, prépare la guerre. -- "If you want peace prepare for war." Original in Latin by Scipio Africanus[?] -- Si vis pacem para bellum.
  • Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se brise. -- "Things break with repeated use." Literally, "The jug goes to water so often that at the end it breaks."
  • Un "tiens" vaut mieux que deux "tu l'auras". -- "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
  • Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps. -- "One lark doesn't make spring." Mia chelidón ouk ear poiei (Greek))
  • Vive la différence. -- "Vive la difference."
  • Au pays des aveugles les borgnes sont rois. -- "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed are king." Andhanam deshe kâna eva prabhavati. (Sanskrit))

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