Dans son assiette

Dans son assiette
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Informal French Expression

Meaning well, like oneself, normal
Literally in one’s plate
Register informal
Pronunciation [da(n) so(n) na syeht]
IPA   [dã sɔ̃ na sjɜt]

Usage notes: The French expressions être dans son assiette (to feel well, to feel like oneself) and avoir l’air dans son assiette (to be looking well, to look like oneself) are most commonly used in the negative, to indicate that a person either doesn’t feel well or looks like he or she doesn’t feel well.

Par exemple…

Je vais rentrer, je ne suis pas dans mon assiette ce matin.   I’m going home, I don’t feel well this morning.
Ça va, Anne ? Tu n’as pas l’air dans ton assiette aujourd’hui.   Are you ok, Anne? You don’t look yourself today.

Note that the possessive adjective changes to agree with the subject.

Synonymous expressions

 Au pied de la lettre

Assiette in the above expressions doesn’t mean "plate" – it’s actually an old word derived from asseoir (to seat). But dans son assiette can be used literally, to refer to something on one’s plate:

Il y a trop de sauce dans mon assiette.   There’s too much sauce on my plate.
C’est quoi sur ton assiette ?   What is that on your plate?

And there are two figurative expressions based on the literal meaning:

  • baisser le nez dans son assiette – to bend over one’s plate
  • piquer du nez dans son assiette – to hang one’s head in shame, to nod off (at the dinner table)

 Related lessons

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Être dans son assiette
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