French word of the day: Vite fait

French word of the day: Vite fait
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
When you 'just have to' do something first..

Why do I need to know vite fait?

Because it’s the best linguistic way to legitimately procrastinate (for a teensy bit).

What does it mean?

Vite fait means ‘quickly done’, and the French use it to say that they’re ‘just going to do something quickly’ – usually before doing something else.

Je vais juste passer aux toilettes vite fait avant la réunion – I’m just going to go to the toilet quickly before the meeting starts.

Je vais me mettre au travail là, je vais juste me faire un café vite fait – I'm about to start working, I'm just going to quickly make myself a coffee first.

Oui, je vais mettre le film. Laisse-moi juste regarder les titres du journal vite fait. – Yes, I'll put on the film. Let me just quickly check the headlines of the evening news.



Vite fait is actually an example of a tic de langage (language tic), because you could just as well stop at vite without adding the fait.

Rapidement (quickly) is another day of saying vite fait. 

Je passe rapidement au magasin avant le diner pour qu'on soit sûr d'avoir assez de vin. – I'll pop to the store quickly before dinner so that we're sure to have enough wine.

Don't use it like this

You only use vite fait if the thing you're doing can be done quickly. 

Je vais commencer a chercher du travail, je vais juste terminer Game of Thrones vite fait d'abord – I'm going to start looking for jobs, I'm just going to finish Game of Thrones quickly first.

That sentence only makes sense if you're at the very last episode of the last season of the series. If you just started watching Game of Thrones, you'll need to find another expression.

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