SHARE
COPY LINK

FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Un de ces quatre

This expression is a great addition to your spoken French as a casual way of talking about the future, making invitations and saying goodbye.

French Expression of the Day: Un de ces quatre
Photo: Deposit photos

Why do I need to know un de ces quatre?

This expression is a great addition to your spoken French as a casual way of talking about the future, making invitations and saying goodbye.  

What does un de ces quatre mean?

It might be easy to work out the translation of un de ces quatre – 'one of these four' – but that doesn’t give away its meaning.

This expression is a shortened version of a 19th century saying un de ces quatre matins (one of these four mornings’) In this case, the mornings refer to the future and the number four symbolises a short but imprecise amount of time.

So un de ces quatre is a way of saying ‘one of these days’, or ‘sometime soon’ or 'at some point'.

One of the reasons this expression is so handy is because the amount of time it implies, although in the near future, is not specified. 

So you could use it to talk about a future plan that you don’t have an exact date for, such as, Je devrais appeler ma tante un de ces quatre. (I should call my aunt at some point)

You can also use it as a way to make a casual invitation to see if someone wants to get together, such as, On va aller boire un verre un de ces quatres.  (We are going to go for a drink sometime soon)

Or you could use it to say goodbye to someone that you don’t know when exactly you’ll see again. 

Adding à to the beginning of this expression turns it into a casual way to ‘say see you around’ or ‘see you some day soon’, for example Salut, à un de ces quatre! (Bye, see you around!)

This expression is mostly used in spoken French, although you may see à un de ces quatre written phonetically as a12c4 in text messages.

How do I use it?

Je pense que ça peut être une bonne idée d'aller boire un verre pour en discuter un de ces quatres.

I think it could be a good idea to get a drink and talk it over one of these days.

J'espère que tu passeras à Paris un de ces quatre.

I hope you'll some to Paris soon.

Au revoir, à un de ces quatre !

Bye, see you around sometime!

(The above expressions are from wordreference.com)

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Mettre le holà

This might look like a mix of Spanish and French, but it is definitely not Franish.

French Expression of the Day: Mettre le holà

Why do I need to know mettre le holà?

Because you might need to do this if your friends go from laughing with you to laughing at you. 

What does it mean?

Mettre le holà – pronounced meh-truh luh oh-la – literally means to put the ‘holà’ on something. You might be thinking this must be some clever mix of Spanish and French, but ‘holà’ actually has nothing to do with the Spanish greeting. 

This expression is a way to say that’s enough – or to ‘put the brakes on something.’

If a situation appears to be agitated, and you feel the need to intervene in order to help calm things down, then this might be the expression you would use. Another way of saying it in English might be to ‘put the kibosh on it.’

While the origins of ‘kibosh’ appear to be unknown, ‘holà’ goes back to the 14th century in France. Back then, people would shout “Ho! Qui va là?” (Oh, who goes there?) as an interjection to call someone out or challenge them. 

Over time this transformed into the simple holà, which you might hear on the streets, particularly if you engage in some risky jaywalking. 

A French synonym for this expression is ‘freiner’ – which literally means ‘to break’ or ‘put the brakes on,’ and can be used figuratively as well as literally. 

Use it like this

Tu aurais dû mettre le holà tout de suite. Cette conversation a duré bien trop longtemps, et il était si offensif. – You should have put a stop to that immediately. That conversation went on for too long, and he was so offensive. 

J’ai essayé de mettre le holà à la blague sur ma mère, mais ils étaient sans pitié. – I tried to put a stop to the joke about my mother, but they were merciless.

SHOW COMMENTS