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French expression of the day: Grouille-toi

French expression of the day: Grouille-toi
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This sounds like something French frogs do, but it's really not.

Why do I need to know grouille-toi?

Because if someone shouts it at you, it's good not having to waste time finding out what it means.

What does it mean?

Grouiller has nothing to do with grenouille, which is French for 'frog'.

It's a word that can mean 'to swarm', 'mill about', or 'crowd', but it's mostly used to say 'get a move on'. 

Grouille-toi – hurry up.

It's a bit colloquial and usually combined with the informal form of 'you', tu. The politer version would be grouillez-vous, but you wouldn't really say that. You could use dépêchez-vous, which means the same but is more polite, but generally you wouldn't tell someone to hurry if they are a person you address with vous.

Grouillez-vous however works well if you're shouting at your pals at the soccer field.

If you turn it around and say 'I'm hurrying', you need to add a me: je me grouille.

Likewise, 'you are hurrying' becomes tu te grouilles.

Use it like this

Grouille-toi ! On va être en retard. – Hurry up! We're going to be late.

Oui, je sais, ne t'inquiète pas, je me grouille. – Yes, I know, don't worry, I'm hurrying.

On se grouille ! – Let's hurry!

Synonyms

Dépêche-toi – hurry up

Magne-toi – hurry up

Bouge-toi – hurry up


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