For members


French expression of the Day: Comme chien et chat

Always in conflict with someone in particular? Here’s the perfect phrase to describe this relationship. 

French expression of the Day: Comme chien et chat

Why do I need to know Comme chien et chat?

Because the expression might date back from the 17th century, the French still love to use it when two people constantly disagree. 

What does it mean? 

Comme chien et chat is quite similar to the EnglishFighting like cat and dog’, except that in English you fight like the two animals, whereas in French you can simply be like a dog and cat. Also, the two countries have the animals in different order. 

Both phrases are used to describe two people in constant conflict.

In French it can be used as Être comme chien et chat – To be like dog and cat, or S’entendre comme chien et chat – to get along like a dog and a cat (ie not well). 

The idea that dogs and cats hate each other dates back to the 16th century. At the time, the expression used – Être amis comme chien et chat – to be friends like dog and cat – was a bit more ironic. 

Use it like this

J’aimerais les inviter à dîner, mais ils s’entendent comme chien et chat ! – I’d like to invite them for diner, but they fight like cat and dog!

A chaque fois qu’ils sont ensemble, ils se comportent comme chien et chat – Every time they get together, they end up arguing


Se disputer – To fight

Ne pas s’entendre avec quelqu’un – Not getting along with someone. 

Avoir une relation conflictuelle – To be in a conflicting relationship. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?


Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener