shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted

Ele0905

Senior Member
London, England
Hi there,

what would the equivalent be of this phrase in French ? Meaning is trying to stop something bad happening when it has already happened and the situation cannot be changed Eg ' Improving security after a major theft would seem to be a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.'

thanks
 
  • Phenyx13

    Senior Member
    Français - French
    Bonjour / Hello,

    I would translate it this way :
    " ...revient à fermer la porte de l'écurie après que le cheval se soit sauvé."
     

    Ele0905

    Senior Member
    London, England
    thank you!

    is there not another idiom you use in French to have the same meaning?? thanks
     

    petit1

    Senior Member
    français - France
    arriver après la bataille. / après coup
    "le train est raté" n'est pas une expression usuelle.
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    L'expression avec le train est "rater le train de ...." (exemple d'un titre récent : l'Europe exhorte ses industriels a ne pas rater le train de la 5G).
    Sinon, en effet, "arriver après la bataille", ou "louper le coche".
     

    Beachxhair

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Je tiens à préciser une chose: louper le coche veut dire, selon le dictionnaire to miss the boat....qui ne signifie pas closing the stable door...To miss the boat = manquer l'occasion de faire qqch, ou se tromper de cible/faire fausse route. Sauf si louper le coche n'a pas tout à fait le sens pareil à l'anglais to miss the boat?
     

    ph_l

    Senior Member
    French de France
    what would the equivalent be of this phrase in French ? Meaning is trying to stop something bad happening when it has already happened and the situation cannot be changed Eg ' Improving security after a major theft would seem to be a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.'
    je ne crois pas qu'il existe une expression idiomatique analogue en français; pour rester dans l'analogie animale, je proposerais "...comme fermer la cage après que l'oiseau se soit envolé".
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    je ne crois pas qu'il existe une expression idiomatique analogue en français; pour rester dans l'analogie animale, je proposerais "...comme fermer la cage après que l'oiseau se soit envolé".
    I like your expression! I would just point out that most sources agree that the subjunctive should not be used after apres que. (Apparently many people do, out of analogy with avant que.)
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    That's what we in English call a "hypercorrection" -- trying to be correct when one is actually violating the rules of that particular language. Some AE speakers incorrectly say, "He came over to see my husband and I" ... which is the same kind of thing. They know it's wrong to say "me," but they don't know why, or when to use the subject pronoun and when the object pronoun.
     

    jekoh

    Senior Member
    Fr - Fr
    No, I don't think that's what we call une hypercorrection.

    According to Wikipedia :
    Hypercorrection can be found among speakers of less prestigious language varieties who attempt to produce forms associated with high-prestige varieties
    There is no attempt to produce a form associated with high-prestige varieties here. We're not "trying to be correct" when we use the subjonctive (nor are we "violating the rules").
     
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