Il pleut des cordes

Pleuvoir des cordes  Artist: Paul Hallinan

Idiomatic French Expression

Meaning It’s pouring, It’s raining cats and dogs, It’s raining stair rods
Literally It’s raining ropes
Register informal
Pronunciation [eel pleu day kuhrd]
IPA   [il plø de kɔrd]

Usage notes: The French expression il pleut des cordes is wonderfully vivid. When the rain is really coming down, it can almost seem like the drops are connected in long, twisty ropes reaching from sky to ground.

Par exemple…

Je ne veux pas sortir – il pleut des cordes !   I don’t want to go out – it’s pouring!
Il pleuvait des cordes quand je suis parti ce matin.   It was raining cats and dogs when I left this morning.

Variation: Il tombe des cordes


  • Il pleut très fort
  • Il pleut à flots / à seaux / à torrents / à verse
  • Il pleut / tombe des hallebardes
  • Il pleut comme vache qui pisse (familiar)

 Au Québec

  • Il pleut à boire debout
  • Il pleut des clous

 Related lessons

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