Y Expressions

French expressions with y
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French-y Phrases

Sometimes tiny French words are packed with meaning, and perhaps the best example of this is the adverbial pronoun y. It usually means "there," but it can be equivalent to a preposition + "it," or have no real English translation at all.

Proverbs with y

Il n’y a pas de fumée sans feu.   There’s no smoke without a fire.
Il n’y a pas de roses sans épines.   There’s no rose without a thorn.
Il n’y a pas de sot métier (il n’y a que de sottes gens).   Every trade has its value.
Il n’y a que les montagnes qui ne se rencontrent pas.   There are none so distant that fate cannot bring them together
Il y a loin de la coupe aux lèvres.   There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.
Il y a un commencement à tout.   There’s a first time for everything.
Il y a un temps pour tout.   There’s a right time for everything.
Où il y a de la gêne, il n’y a pas de plaisir.   Comfort comes first, There’s no point in being uncomfortable.
Où il y a un écu, il y a un diable. Où il n’y en a pas, il y en a deux.   Money is the root of all evil.

Expressions with y

allons-y   let’s go
ça y est   that’s it, it’s done
comme il fallait s’y attendre   as expected, predictably enough
Honi soit qui mal y pense.   Shame on anyone who thinks this evil.
Il fallait s’y attendre.   It was to be expected.
Il faut t’y faire.   You have to get used to it.
il y a   there is, there are
Il y a quelque chose qui cloche   There’s something amiss.
je n’y peux rien   I can’t do anything about it
je n’y suis pour personne   I’m not here, I don’t want to see anyone
je n’y suis pour rien   It has nothing to do with me
j’y suis   I understand; I remember
j’y suis, j’y reste   Here I am and here I stay
j’y vais   I’m going (there)
n’y comptez pas   don’t count on it
n’y pensez plus   don’t worry about it, forget it
on y va   let’s go
on pouvait s’y attendre   it was to be expected.
personne ne s’y attendait   no one was expecting it
Qui s’y frotte s’y pique.   If you cross swords with him, you do so at your peril.
restez-y   stay there
Souvent femme varie (bien fol est qui s’y fie).   Woman is fickle.
s’y connaître   to know all about it, be an expert
Tant qu’il y a de la vie, il y a de l’espoir   Where there’s life, there’s hope.
Va voir ailleurs si j’y suis ! (inf)   Get lost!
y compris   including

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Y - French expressions

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