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French expression of the day: Tendre une perche

French expression of the day: Tendre une perche
Although this might sound like you're about to take part in an athletics event, the phrase has a more straightforward and everyday meaning.

Why do I need to know tendre une perche?

It's a fairly common phrase that will come up in everyday conversation, and in a workplace setting.

What does it mean?

Its literal translation is the rather athletic sounding 'throw a pole' or 'throw a line' but in fact it really means to give someone a chance, offer a helping hand or perhaps throw them a bone.

Laisse-moi lui tendre une perche, elle a vraiment du mal avec sa grammaire française – Let me help her out, she's really struggling with her French grammar.

Je sais qu'il est ennuyeux, mais tu dois lui tendre une perche – I know he's annoying, but you've got to give him a chance.

Permettez-moi simplement de tendre une perche au maire pour qu'il prenne la bonne décision – Allow me to simply offer the mayor a helping hand so that he may make the right decision.

Any other options?

If you want to be a bit more literal in what you are saying, you could use the phrase Donner une chance – to give a chance or Donner un coup de main – to give a helping hand.


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