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French expression of the day: Faire tout un plat de

Feel like people around you tend to exaggerate? Here’s what you will want to tell them.

French expression of the day: Faire tout un plat de

Why do I need to know Faire tout un plat de ?

Make no mistake, this expression has nothing to do with cooking, instead it is used when someone is making a fuss about something.

What does it mean ?

Faire tout un plat de literally means to make a whole dish of, but in reality this expression has nothing to do with food.

Usually the more commonly used phrase is En faire tout un plat and means to make a big deal out of something or make a mountain out of a molehill.

It's closest English equivalent would be 'to make a meal of something'. It is generally used to tell someone he or she is exaggerating about a situation, and you think that person should relax.

Julien est encore rentré tard hier soir – Oh, n’en fais pas tout un plat!

Julien came back late last night, again – Oh, don’t make a fuss out of it!

You’ll usually use that phrase in a casual context when talking to family, friends or colleagues. We don't recommend you use it with your bosses or someone you don't know well as it would sound quite inappropriate. 

It can also be used when someone is disappointed about something.

Tout le monde dit que cet hôtel est superbe, mais franchement il n’y a pas de quoi en faire tout un plat!

Everyone is saying this hotel is amazing, but really there’s no reason to make a huge deal out of it!

This expression also has plenty of synonyms which all mean roughly the same thing Here are some of the most used; 

Pas de quoi fouetter un chat

Faire toute une histoire de,

Faire tout un fromage de,

Faire une montagne de

En faire tout un cake

En faire un pataquès

Nn faire une maladie…

So if anyone says any of these to you, you will know to calm down.

For more French words and phrases, check out our French word of the Day section.

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For members


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.