French Expression of the day: Avoir rien à voir

This useful phrase has everything to do with learning French.

French Expression of the day: Avoir rien à voir
Photo: Deposit photos

Why have we chosen avoir rien à voir?

This common expression has a few different meanings that make it a useful one to be able to throw into your French conversations.

So, what does avoir rien à voirmean?

Often misheard as avoir rien avoir (which is meaningless), avoir rien à voir literally means ‘to have nothing to see.’

This can be used in a literal sense, as a way of telling people to stop looking at something, such as Circulez il n'y a rien à voir. (Move along, there’s nothing to see here.)

But, generally, rather than being an expression you use in a blacked-out room, this handy phrase can be translated in two ways. 

Firstly, this expression can mean something is completely different or nothing like something that you might expect to be similar. For example, le film n’a rien à voir avec le livre (The film is nothing like the book.)

It can be used as a way to say you aren’t involved or have nothing to do with something. For example, Je n’ai rien à voir avec sa decision. (I have nothing to with his decision.)

The headline below uses avoir rien àvoir to stress that President Emmanuel “Macron's proposal has nothing to do with universal income”.

Adapting avoir rien à voir to use in different situations is fairly straightforward, as you can just change the verb avoir to suit the time or the person you are talking about. 

Instead of using Je n’ai…in the sentence above you could just as easily use Ils n’ont rien à voir avec…(They have nothing to do with…)


Tout cela n’a rien à voir avec moi! 

All this has nothing to do with me!

Ça n’a rien à voir avec eux. C’est moi qui s’en occupe. 

It has nothing to do with them. I’m in charge of this.

Mon niveau d'anglais et le tiens n'ont rien à voir. Tu parles bien mieux que moi!

My level of English and yours are completely different. You speak much better than I do!

(The above example comes from

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French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

This is definitely not lip synching.

French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

Why do I need to know Chanter faux ?

Because if you were not blessed with a beautiful singing voice, then this might be a good phrase to know. 

What does it mean?

Chanter faux – pronounced shahn-tay foe – literally means to ‘fake sing.’ You might assume this expression would mean ‘lip sync’ in French, but its true meaning is to sing out of tune. (Lip synching is chanter en playback).

It joins a chorus of other French expressions about bad singing, like chanter comme une casserole (to sing like a saucepan) or chanter comme une seringue (to sing like a siren).  

Chanter faux is actually the most correct way to describe someone being off key, so it might be a better option than comparing another’s voice to a cooking utensil. 

You might have seen this expression pop up recently amid the drought, as people call for rain dances and rain singing (where there is no shame in singing badly).

Use it like this

Pendant l’audition pour la pièce, Sarah a chanté faux. Malheureusement, elle n’a pas obtenu le rôle. – During her audition for the play, Sarah sang out of tune. Sadly, she did not get a role.

Si on fait un karaoké, tu verras comme je chante mal. Je chante vraiment faux, mais je m’en fiche. Il s’agit de s’amuser. – If we do karaoke you will see how badly I sing. I am really out of tune, but I don’t care. It’s all about having fun.