Do you know the French expression: un coup de pouce?
If you are here is that you want to learn and improve your French, well done! Do you want to add one more French expression to your vocabulary list? Today is the day 😀
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J’ai besoin d’un coup de pouce !
I need a helping hand!
In this article, I am going to explain you the meaning of the French expression coup de pouce. First, I am going to explain the words of it. And then I’ll put it in differents contexts so you can understand better the meaning and so you’ll be able to use it properly!
Un coup = a hit, a shot, a blow.
I hit someone or I hit something.
Ex: I hit the ball.
Donner un coup = frapper = to hit, to strike, to knock.
Je donne un coup dans la balle = I kick the ball.
Il a frappé quelqu’un = He punched someone.
Le pouce = the thumb.
Litteraly, the French expression Un coup de pouce means ''to hit with your thumb''. But as you can imagine this is a picture. In fact, we use the French expression un coup de pouce to talk about help. If I ask for help I would say:
Est-ce que tu peux me donner un coup de pouce, stp ?
Can you give me a helping hand, please?
You are in a situation that is out of your control and you need help. You are stuck, you can't move forward, so you can say j’ai besoin d’un coup de pouce.
Here some more examples
Je lui ai donné un coup de pouce pour réviser sa leçon de français.
I gave him a helping hand to revise his French lesson.
Ils ne comprenaient pas bien les règles du jeu alors elle leur a donné un coup de pouce.
They didn't quite understand the rules of the game so she gave them a helping hand.
They didn't quite understand the rules of the game so she gave them a leg up.
Tu peux me donner un coup de pouce pour ranger le garage, s’il te plaît ?
Can you give me a hand to tidy up the garage, please?
Je vais donner un coup de pouce pour faire le repas.
I'll give a helping hand to make the meal.
Un coup de pouce du destin
A helping hand from fate.
Have you ever used this expression?
Tell me in the comments!
Thomas, your French teacher 😀
Thomas Ricomard specializes in teaching French as a foreign language. He has been providing private lessons since 2015, both in-person and online (via Skype). He taught at the Popular University of the Canton of Geneva (Switzerland) from 2015 to 2018, instructing several groups of 20 students from around the world (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mexico, etc.), ranging from beginner to intermediate levels (A1 to B2). With a Master’s degree in clinical and cognitive psychology from the University of Geneva, his knowledge of psychology allows him to tailor his teaching methods for optimal learning, taking into account factors such as visual memory versus auditory memory. He expresses his passion for the French language through writing texts, including poetry and songs, which he presents publicly at numerous music and slam events.