1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

tenir la chandelle

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by nallei, May 19, 2006.

  1. nallei Junior Member

    French / France
    Hi

    Can somebody propose a translation for this phrase ? Someone could say that when he or she finds himself/herself alone with a couple and thinks that he/she would be better elsewhere...
     
  2. BERENICE S Senior Member

    French-France
    Hello,

    Tenir la chandelle = "to play gooseberry"

    Bye -B.
     
  3. page 70 Senior Member

    Montpellier
    French France
    To play gooseberry ? I like that one !!
     
  4. cindarin Junior Member

    English - USA
    to play gooseberry? i've never heard that, cute! people also use "being the third wheel" to describe that feeling :)
     
  5. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    I've also heard 'to feel like a fifth wheel' (i.e. cars & trucks have 4 wheels, a 5th wheel is unnecessary).
     
  6. cindarin Junior Member

    English - USA
    i always thought 5th wheel was if you were with two couples, and 3rd wheel if you're only with one other, but maybe i made that distinction up...?
    (3rd being on a bike, 5th on a car)
     
  7. page 70 Senior Member

    Montpellier
    French France
    In French, we say :"la cinquième roue du carosse", we dont use "the third" nevermind how many people are concerned...
     
  8. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    In French "être la cinquième roue du carrosse" (to be the fifth wheel of the cart) doesn't mean "tenir la chandelle". It rather means not counting much, always being aware of events the last...
     
  9. page 70 Senior Member

    Montpellier
    French France
    Et bien quand tu tiens la chandelle, tu as un peu l'impression de ne pas compter beaucoup non ?
     
  10. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Oui, mais je voulais dire que la 5ème roue avait un sens plus large. Tenir la chandelle c'est dans une situation précise, avec un couple... ;)
     
  11. page 70 Senior Member

    Montpellier
    French France
    Bien sûr tu as raison !! J'essayais juste de m'en sortir honorablement ! :eek:
     
  12. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Tout post est honorable ici, ne t'inquiète pas. ;)
    C'est marrant de voir que l'expression anglaise a perdu notre carrosse !
    Ou alors c'est l'expression française qui l'a ajouté ? :confused: :D
     
  13. nallei Junior Member

    French / France
    many thanks to all of you, I like the gooseberry one :eek:)
     

Share This Page