For members


French phrase of the Day: Les JO

You're going to be seeing this acronym a lot between now and 2024.

French phrase of the Day: Les JO
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know Les JO?

Because the French capital is hosting Les JO in 2024.

What does it mean?

If you haven’t already guessed, it’s an acronym of les Jeux olympiques, or the Olympic Games. But while Anglophones usually shorten this to ‘the Olympics’ in France you will often see them referred to as les JO.

It’s best to get familiar with such an acronym now, as newspaper headlines often refer to the games as les JO, and this will become more frequent in the run-up to 2024. 

Les JOJ is another  acronym also commonly used to describe les Jeux Olympiques de la Jeunesse or, as we know it in English, The Youth Olympic Games.  

The French love a good acronyme, most likely due to the long length of words within the language, and such abbreviations are abound within the French language, from colloquial speech, to within newspapers and in political discussions.

Use it like this

French news website, recently published an article on French sailor, Camille Lecointre, who is obviously taking her preparations very seriously, with the headline

Originaire d’Harfleur, Camille Lecointre prépare les JO de Tokyo : ‘J’ai une vie de nonne’  – Harfleur native, Camille Lecointre on her preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games: “I have a nun’s life”. 

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Un de ces quatres

The perfect response to that invitation you don't really want to say a firm yes to.

French Expression of the Day:  Un de ces quatres

Why do I need to know un de ces quatres?

Because you will probably hear this phrase while trying to make plans with someone in French

What does it mean?

Un de ces quatres – usually pronounced uhn duh say cat-truhs – translates exactly to “one of these fours.” If taken literally the phrase really does not make any sense in French or English. But in actuality, it means “one of these days,” “at some point,” or just “soon.”

This expression is a shortening of “one of these four mornings to come,” which was first used in the second half of the 19th century. It designates a time that is sometime in the near future, but still rather indeterminate.

In French, the number ‘four’ is often used in expressions to refer to imprecise, or small, quantities. Some people say this is because four is the number for the seasons and cardinal points (North, South, East, West), so saying ‘one of these four’ shows a level of ambiguity. But unfortunately we don’t really know exactly how (or why) this phrase arose.

If you want another way of saying this, you can always stick with the regular “un de ces jours” (one of these days).

Use it like this

J’ai été tellement occupée ces derniers temps mais nous devrons prendre un verre un de ces quatres. – I’ve been so busy lately, but we have to grab a drink one of these days.

Il m’a dit qu’il nettoierait la salle de bain un de ces quatres, donc je suppose que ça n’a pas encore été fait. – He told me he would clean the bathroom one of these days, so I guess it hasn’t been done yet.