French phrase of the Day: Etre moi-même

French phrase of the Day: Etre moi-même
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Never let anyone stop you from doing this.

Why do I need to know être moi-même?

Because it’s a handy little phrase when discussing your feelings or identity.

What does it mean?

Moi, as most French leaners know, means me. The most common translation of même is ‘same’ as in the handy restaurant cheat of just gesturing at the person next to you and asking for la même chose if you’re not sure what to order.

However it also means ‘even’ as in quand-même – even so or nevertheless.

When paired with moi as moi-même it means ‘myself’ so être moi-même is ‘to be myself’ in the more philosophical sense of keeping your own identity and remaining true to your values and beliefs, even if others are putting pressure on you to change. 

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See also on The Local:

If you’re talking about others being themselves it would be être soi-même and if you’re talking more generally about how it can be hard to be ourselves you would use être nous-même.

Use it like this 

Franchement, je n’aime pas la culture de mon lieu de travail, je ne peux pas être moi-même – I really don’t like the culture in my office, I can’t be myself

Je pense qu’il aurait plus de chance de trouver l’amour s’il apprenait à être lui-même – I think he would have a better chance of finding love if he learned to be himself

Être soi-même c’est connaître ses imperfections mais surtout assumer ses qualités et ses points forts – Being yourself means knowing your imperfections but above all recognising your qualities and strengths 

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