La goutte qui fait déborder le vase

La goutte qui fait déborder le vase
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French Expression

Meaning the last straw, the straw that broke the camel’s back
Literally the drop that makes the vase overflow
Register normal
Pronunciation
  [la goot kee fay day buhr day leu vahz]
IPA   [la gut ki fe de bɔʀ de lə vaz]

Usage notes: The French expression la goutte qui fait déborder le vase is used when you’ve had enough of something, when there’s just one problem too many and you’re fed up. The vase is full, and that last drop of water made it overflow. The equivalent English idiomatic expression is “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Par exemple…

J’ai accepté le nouveau poste et la réduction de salaire, mais la mutation en banlieue est la goutte qui fait déborder le vase.   I accepted the new job and the pay cut, but the transfer to the suburbs is the last straw.
Je n’en peux plus, c’est la goutte qui fait déborder le vase.   I can’t take any more, that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Variations

  • la goutte d’eau qui fait déborder le vase
  • cela a fait déborder le vase

 Be sure to use the correct gender. Vase is masculine when it means "vase," la vase means "silt."

 Grammar note: faire + infinitive = causative construction.

Synonymous expressions

  • ça a été l’apothéose – literally, "that was the apotheosis"
  • c’est la totale – "that’s everything"
  • c’est le comble, c’est un comble – "that’s the top"
  • il ne manquait plus que ça – "only that was missing"
     
    Informal
  • c’est la fin de tout – "that’s the end of everything"
  • c’est la fin des haricots – "that’s the end of the beans"
  • c’est le pompon – "that’s the pompom"

 Related lesson

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