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Quand les poules auront des dents

French expressions analyzed and explained


Quand les poules auront des dents
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Expression: Quand les poules auront des dents

Pronunciation: [ka(n) lay pool (z)o ro(n) day da(n)]

Meaning: When pigs fly

Literal translation: When hens have teeth

Register: normal

Notes: The French expression quand les poules auront des dents is a colorful way of saying "not a chance!" or "it'll never happen!" The equivalent English barnyard expression is "when pigs fly," but there are other possible translations, including "when hell freezes over" and "never in a month of Sundays."


   -Quand vas-tu venir avec nous à l'opéra ?
   -Quand les poules auront des dents !

   -When are you going to come with us to the opera?
   -When pigs fly!

Grammar question: Why is avoir in the future, rather than the present tense? See note 1 in my French future lesson or the * note in quand vs lorsque.

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