Mettre son grain de sel

Mettre son grain de sel
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Informal French Expression

Meaning to stick one’s nose in, to butt in
Literally to put one’s grain of salt
Register informal
Pronunciation [meh tr(eu) so(n) greh(n) deu sehl]
IPA   [mɛtʀə sɔ̃ gʀɛ̃ də sɛl]

Usage notes: The informal French expression mettre son grain de sel uses food, appropriately enough, to complain about someone taking part in something that doesn’t involve him. Like its English equivalent "to stick one’s nose in," mettre son grain de sel has a negative connotation: your seasoning / opinion is unwelcome, so don’t add your grain of salt / butt out.

Par exemple…

Bien sûr, Richard a dû mettre son grain de sel.   Of course, Richard had to stick his nose in.
Océane ne peut pas s’empêcher de mettre son grain de sel.   Océane can’t help butting in.
Pourquoi mettez-vous toujours votre grain de sel ?   Why do you always stick your noses in?

  Warnings

“To put one’s two cents in” and “to have one’s say” are not equivalent, since they can be neutral or even have a positive connotation. The French equivalents of these expressions are y aller de son commentaire and dire son mot, respectively.

Mettre son grain de sel is also not equivalent to “to take something with a grain of salt,” which in French is best translated by ne pas prendre quelque chose au pied de la lettre.

Related expressions

  • un grain de sable – grain of sand; (figuratively) blip, hiccup, glitch
  • mettre les pieds dans le plat – to speak too frankly
  • mettre sa langue dans sa poche – to hold one’s tongue
     
    It’s none of your business
  • Ça ne te regarde pas
  • Ce n’est pas ton affaire
  • C’est pas tes oignons (familiar)
     
    Mind your own business!
     
    (informal)
  • Mêle-toi de tes affaires !
  • Mêle-toi de ce qui te regarde !
     

    (familiar)
  • Mêle-toi de tes oignons !
  • Occupe-toi de tes oignons !
  • T’inquiète !
  • T’occupe (pas) !

 Related lessons

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