Faire le pont

Faire le pont
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Festive French Expression

Meaning to take a four-day weekend
Literally to make the bridge
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Pronunciation [fehr leu po(n)]
IPA   [fɜʀ lə pɔ̃]

Usage notes: For Americans, a long weekend is typically three days: either Friday or Monday tacked onto the regular weekend. When holidays fall on Tuesday or Thursday, most people still have to work and go to school on Monday or Friday. The major exception is Thanksgiving, when schools, government offices, and many businesses close for four days, making a "bridge" over Friday.

In France, this holiday bridge is far more common – so much so that there’s an expression for it. Basically any time a public holiday falls on Tuesday or Thursday, students and many workers font le pont, which means that there are several four-day weekends throughout the year.

Par exemple…

Le 1er mai tombe un mardi, génial ! On peut faire le pont.   May 1st (Labor Day) falls on Tuesday, great! We can have a four-day weekend.
Je ne fais pas le pont cette fois, j’ai trop de travail à faire.   I’m not taking a long weekend this time, I have too much work to do.

  In gymnastics, wrestling, and yoga, faire le pont means "to do the crab" or "to bridge," the position where you lie on your back and then arch your body so that your torso is rounded while your hands and feet stay on the ground.

Related expressions

  • faire le pont à quelqu’un – to help someone get over/past a difficulty
  • faire un pont d’or à quelqu’un – to offer someone a fortune to take a job

 Related lessons

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Faire le pont
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