Connaître la musique

Tu connais la musique
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French Expression

Meaning To know the routine
Literally To know the music
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Pronunciation [kuh netr la mu zeek]
IPA   [kɔ nɛtʁə la my zik]

Usage notes: The French expression connaître la musique can be literal or figurative.

Literally, of course, it means to know how to play or be familiar with a particular piece of music.

Par exemple…

Mon frère connaît toute la bande originale de Baisers volés.   My brother knows (how to play) the entire soundtrack of Baisers volés.
Je ne connais pas la musique d’Engrénages.   I’m not familiar with the music from (the TV series) Engrénages.

The figurative meaning of connaître la musique indicates knowledge of a procedure or situation.

Par exemple…

Allez, Thérèse, tu connais la musique, montre-moi comment le faire.   Come on, Thérèse, you know how it works, show me how to do it.
Policier : Vous connaissez la musique – qui est votre complice ?   Officer: You know the routine – who’s your accomplice?

There are a number of ways to express the figurative meaning of connaître la musique in English:

  • to be an old hand at
  • to know all about
  • to know how it works
  • to know the drill
  • to know the ropes
  • to know the routine
  • to know the score

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