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French Expressions with Vivre

Idiomatic French expressions


The French verb vivre literally means "to live" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to be at peace, move with the times, live to a ripe old age, and more with this list of expressions with vivre.

Possible meanings of vivre
  • to live
  • to be alive
  • (in the passé composé) to be over, to have had its day, to be a thing of the past

Expressions with vivre

vivre au jour le jour
to live from hand to mouth

vivre aux crochets de quelqu'un (informal)
to live/sponge off someone

vivre avec quelqu'un
to live with someone

vivre avec son époque
to move with the times

vivre avec son temps
to move with the times

vivre bien
to live well

vivre centenaire
to live to be 100

vivre comme mari et femme
to live as husband and wife

vivre d'amour et d'eau fraîche
to live on love alone, to live a carefree life

vivre dangereusement
to live dangerously

vivre dans la crainte
to live in fear

vivre dans les livres
to live in books

vivre dans le passé
to live in the past

vivre de
to live on, make a living from

vivre de l'air du temps
to live on air

vivre des temps troublés
to live in troubled times

vivre en paix (avec soi-même)
to be at peace (with oneself)

vivre largement
to live well

vivre le présent
to live for the present

vivre l'instant
to live for the moment

vivre mal quelque chose 
to have a hard time of something

vivre que pour quelque chose
to live for something

vivre sa foi
to live out one's faith

vivre sa vie
to live one's own life

vivre son art
to live out one's art

vivre sur sa réputation
to get by on the strength of one's reputation

vivre une période de crise
to be going through a period of crisis

vivre vieux
to live to a ripe old age

avoir (juste) de quoi vivre
to have (just) enough to live on

être facile/difficile à vivre
to be easy/difficult to live with

faire vivre quelqu'un
to support somone, keep someone going

savoir vivre
to know how to live (have a good life) or to know how to behave 

se laisser vivre
to live for the day, to take life as it comes

travailler pour vivre
to work for a living

Ça lui apprendra à vivre
That'll straighten him out.

L'homme ne vit pas seulement de pain.
Man shall not live by bread alone.

Il fait bon vivre.
It's good to be alive.

Il faut bien vivre !
You have to live!

Il me fait vivre
It pays the bills, It's a living

Il vit un beau roman d'amour
His life is a love story come true

Je vais lui apprendre à vivre
I'll teach him a thing or two

Laissez-les vivre !
Let them be!

On ne voyait âme qui vive
There wasn't a living soul to be seen.

Qui vivra verra.
What will be will be.

La vie ne vaut pas la peine d'être vécue.
Life isn't worth living.

Vive... !
Long live ...! Hurrah for ...!

Vive la France !
Long live France!

l'art de vivre
way of life

la joie de vivre
joy of life

le savoir-vivre

le vivre et le couvert
bed and board

le vivre et le logement
room and board

les vivres
supplies, provisions

couper les vivres à quelqu'un
to cut off someone's means of subsistence

être sur le qui-vive
to be on the alert

la vie

C'est la vie !
That's life!

vivant (adj)
living, alive, lively

de son vivant
in his/her lifetime

la vive-eau
spring tide

vivement (adv)
brusquely, sharply

Vivre conjugations
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