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French Proverbs

These French Proverbs Give You a Peek Into the French Way of Life


When you live in a country as glamorous as France, surely a bit of its style quotient must rub off on you. It is no wonder that leading fashion brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gianni Versace rule the fashion world from Paris. What sets the French apart from their European counterparts? What makes them unique? These French proverbs reveal the French psyche.

  • Where there's music there can be love.

  • A good meal ought to begin with hunger.

  • Beauty, unaccompanied by virtue, is as a flower without perfume.

  • He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned.

  • To believe a thing is impossible is to make it so.

  • The reputation of a man is like his shadow: it sometimes follows and sometimes precedes him; it is sometimes longer and sometimes shorter than his natural size.

  • God visits us, but most of the time we are not at home.

  • He that waits for a dead man's shoes may long go barefoot.

  • It is a wise man who lives with money in the bank; it is a fool who dies that way.

  • We know the true worth of a thing when we have lost it.

  • The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry.

  • Don't find fault with what you don't understand.

  • Fortune helps him that's willing to help himself.

  • Nothing is as burdensome as a secret.

  • Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.

  • He who is near the church is often far from God.

  • A bad bush is better than an open field.

  • People always make the wolf more formidable than he is.

  • It's all very well in practice, but it will never work in theory.

  • When a man begins to reason, he ceases to feel.

  • The first half of life is spent in longing for the second -- the second half in regretting the first.

  • To want to forget something is to think of it.

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