Changer les idées

Changer les idées
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French Expression

Meaning to take one’s mind off things, clear one’s head, take a break
Literally to change one’s ideas
Register normal
Pronunciation French sound files [sha(n) zhay lay zee day]
IPA   [ʃã ʒe le zi de]

Usage notes: The French expression changer les idées describes how doing something different, like going for a walk or taking a trip, can help you clear your head in order to deal with some dilemma or difficulty. Note that the person in question is the object of the preposition à, and is very often replaced by the indirect object pronoun.

Par exemple…

J’espère que ce voyage changera les idées à Paulette.   I hope this trip will take Paulette’s mind off things.
Il devrait partir en week-end, ça lui changera les idées.   He should go away for the weekend, that will take his mind off things.

It is often used pronominally: se changer les idées.

Par exemple…

Je vais sortir les chiens ; j’ai besoin de me changer les idées.   I’m going to take the dogs out; I need to clear my head.
Que faire pour se changer les idées après une rupture ?   What can you do to take your mind off things after a break-up?

Somewhat synonymous

  • avoir besoin d’une pause – to need a break
  • avoir besoin de vacances – to need a vacation
  • faire une pause – to take a break
  • prendre des vacances – to go on vacation

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Changer les idées

Stay up to date with Lawless French

Questions about French?

 Visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.

Leave a Reply