French Sayings Involving Fruits

Learning popular French sayings and expressions is an easy way to make you sound more like a confident, native French speaker.

Food is very important in French culture, so it’s no wonder various foods are part of many French expressions.

Today, let’s learn some popular French sayings involving les fruits (= fruits)!

(And you can click here to discover some colloquial French expressions involving vegetables!)

Learning goals: This is what you’ll be able to do after watching this lesson

  • Know and use 5 new French sayings to sound more French, even to the French.

Bonjour c’est Géraldine.

Bienvenue sur Comme une Française. C’est parti !

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1) Tomber dans les pommes

Une pomme = an apple

Tomber dans les pommes
“To fall into apples” (literally)
→ To faint / To pass out
→ Synonym: S’évanouir

Le coureur est tombé dans les pommes quelques mètres après la ligne d’arrivée.
The runner fainted a few meters after the finish line.

2) Couper la poire en deux

Une poire = a pear

Couper la poire en deux
“To cut the pear in half” (literally)
→ To meet halfway / To compromise / To split the difference
→ Synonym: Faire un compromis

Si tu veux, on peut couper la poire en deux et se retrouver pour le goûter vers 16 heures, au parc.
If you want, we can split the difference and meet each other for “le goûter” around 4pm in the park.

Le goûter = a 4pm fruit or cookie, a light snack for children (and adults who like to eat something in the afternoon)

Click here to learn more about French food culture

3) Mi-figue, mi-raisin

Une figue = a fig
Un raisin = a grape

(Être) mi-figue mi-raisin
“To feel half fig and half grape” (literally)
→ To have mixed feelings about something / Inconclusive / “Mixed” (good in parts, bad in parts) / Lukewarm
→ Synonym: Mitigé / Pas très enthousiaste / “Bof Bof” (familier)

Son accueil était mi-figue, mi-raisin. Je ne suis pas sûre qu’il voulait vraiment me voir aujourd’hui.
His welcome was lukewarm. I’m not sure he really wanted to see me today.

J’ai écouté leur dernier album, je suis mi-figue mi-raisin.
I listened to their last album, I have mixed feelings about it.

4) Être une bonne poire

Une poire = a pear

Être une bonne poire
→ “To be a good pear” (literally)
→ Being too good-natured, too nice, a bit naive
→ Synonym: Naïf, naïve / Trop gentil, trop gentille

It’s also a synonym of “Se faire toujours avoir” (“Always being taken advantage of”)

J’ai encore accepté d’aider Michel à déménager mais je suis tout seul… Je suis vraiment une bonne poire.
Once again I accepted to help Michel move, but I’m alone… I’m too nice to people.

We can also say “Être bonne poire” (without “une”).

5) Se prendre une châtaigne

Une châtaigne = a chestnut

Se prendre une châtaigne
“To get hit by a chestnut” (literally)
→ To suffer an electric shock
→ Synonym: S’électrocuter / Se prendre une décharge électrique

Je me suis pris une châtaigne en changeant l’ampoule de ma lampe de chevet.
I got slightly electrocuted when changing the lightbulb in my bedside lamp.

Se prendre une châtaigne also means Se prendre coup de poing (= to get punched). We have many more French sayings that mean “Getting punched” too:

Se prendre un marron (= another word for chestnut)

Se prendre une patate (= a potato)

Se prendre une droite (= a right-handed punch)

Se prendre une mandale (= specific word for a punch)…

And “punching someone” is the same. Just replace “se prendre” (= getting hit by) with “donner” (= to give) or “filer” (= to give, colloquially).

Click here to listen to a famous song with all these expressions, “Laisse Béton” by Renaud


Your turn now!

What’s a popular French saying involving fruits that means:

  • Etre naïf / trop gentil ?
  • Faire un compromis ?
  • S’évanouir ?





(Answers: Être une bonne poire / Couper la poire en deux / Tomber dans les pommes)

Et toi ?

Quelle est ton expression avec des fruits préférée?
What’s your favorite French saying with fruit(s)?

Share your answer in the comments – in French, if you dare!
For example, you can write: “Mon expression préférée est “Se prendre une châtaigne” parce que j’adore le bricolage !”

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And now:
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Allez, salut 🙂

Join the conversation!

  • Fruit ~ yes, always a healthy choice 🙂

    Your subject this week Géraldine immediately
    made me think of :

    Oranges and Lemons
    say the bells of St Clement’s

    You owe me five farthings
    say the bells of St Martins ..

    .. this is a traditional English nursery rhyme
    which continues in further verses around
    churches in the City of London.

    But I’m straying from our original topic.

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

    Can this possibly be true ? Well, we don’t
    really know of course, but the fruit that
    many people like is the grape, especially
    when crushed into, yes …

    “grape juice” !

    And this is particularly the case in France,
    where people like to take their “grape juice”
    with food, and where it is known locally as ~

    du vin ~

    Une très jolie leçon pour cette semaine,
    et je dis, comme toujours, merci merci
    beaucoup 😀

  • Bonjour Madame Géraldine et merci pour le leçon ! Ma expression préférée est, mi-figue, mi-raisin, which I felt may also translate to, ‘neither here, nor there’ (figs/raisins are different fruits but both are sweet) so I use this expression when something doesn’t really make that much of a difference to something, it doesn’t change the outcome dramatically or unacceptably so you might say, “ don’t worry about it, it’s neither here nor there”. But I will use, mi-figue, mi-raisin from now on! Merci encore, Madame et bonne journée !

  • Une amie m’a dit que l’expression tomber dans les pommes était à l’origine tomber les les paumes…avec le temps le mot « paumes » est devenu «pommes. » Chouette!

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