French Lessons: T

English - French Dictionary

chalkboard. The meaning is broader in French: all types of board (chalkboard, whiteboard, notice board…). Refers also to a painting (see tableau vivant, below) or a table (chart).

tableau vivant
literally “living picture,” the term describes a striking group of suitably costumed actors or artist’s models, carefully posed and often theatrically lit.

tant mieux
good; so much the better.

tant pis
too bad; oh well, that’s tough; never mind; so much for that

“head to head”; an intimate get-together or private conversation between two people.

washing; clothes, apparel, costume; dressing table; the process of dressing or grooming. Also refers in French, when plural (“les toilettes”), to the toilet room.

tout à l’heure
in a moment, a moment ago

tout de suite  
right away, immediately

tu connais la musique  
you know something about the music; you know the routine

tu m’étonnes  
tell me something I don’t know

tu te rends compte ?  
do you realize? can you imagine?

acknowledgment of an effective counterpoint; literally “touched” or “hit!” Comes from the fencing vocabulary.

tour de force
“feat of strength”: a masterly or brilliant stroke, creation, effect, or accomplishment.

tout de suite
lit. everything (else) following; “at once,” “immediately”


très beau
very beautiful

très bonne
very good (feminine form). When used to describe a woman’s physical attributes, it’s vulgar in French.

photograph-like realism in painting; literally “trick the eye”

trou de loup
literally “wolf hole,” a kind of booby trap.


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