French phrase of the day: Avoir du cran

French phrase of the day: Avoir du cran
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
If you're just starting to learn French, or you are picking it up again after too many years since your schooldays, you may need to 'avoir du cran' when you first test your language skills in public

Why do I need to know avoir du cran?

Every language has at least one term that has the raw nerve to reference courage. This is one in French

What does it mean?

Simply put it means to have guts or be brave.

A cran is actually a notch, for example in a belt, that allows for something to be adjusted. Here, the word however is to be taken in its figurative sense of “assurance”, or “self-confidence”. 

Avoir du cran therefore means “to dare”, or “to have courage”.

Use it like this

L’étudiant a eu le cran de contredire son professeur – The student had the nerve to contradict his teacher.

Il faut avoir du cran pour être dans l’armée – It takes courage to serve in the military.

En 1995, fallait avoir du cran pour fréquenter en public quelqu’un d’une autre appartenance ethnique – In 1995, you had to have guts to hang out in public with someone from a different ethnicity.

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