Qui trop embrasse mal étreint

applesI came across a new French saying recently: Qui trop embrasse mal étreint (key troh ahmbrass mal aytrahnt), which literally means “[One} who takes on too much, grips badly.” I have an image of someone trying to hold an armful of apples and letting them fall. It’s the equivalent of the English saying “You shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew.” It’s good advice. At the moment, I’m juggling my job, searching for a new one, and preparing our house for sale. In a few days, I’m about to start the first of three grad courses I’m planning to finish this summer. Multi-tasking is second nature and feels like a virtue. But maybe it’s time to relax a bit. In Paris. Let’s face it; if I moved there, I’d take on half-a-dozen projects in no time flat. I may be a hopeless case.

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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2 Responses to Qui trop embrasse mal étreint

  1. I didn’t know this expression. What a contrast we bite, the French kiss :). Good luck with all your new projects.

    • Thanks for the good wishes!
      I love that “embrasser” has so many nuances in French. Here’s the list from Wordreference.com:
      embrasser⇒ vtr (donner un baiser à qqn) kiss vtr
      Nous embrassons les enfants quand nous les retrouvons.
      embrasser vtr soutenu (adopter une opinion) embrace, adopt, adhere to vtr
      formal espouse vtr
      Il a embrassé les idées politiques de son père.
      embrasser vtr figuré (s’engager dans un métier) take up, opt for vtr
      Ils ont embrassé la carrière diplomatique.
      embrasser vtr (voir dans son ensemble) embrace, comprehend, encompass, include, contain vtr
      Du haut de la Tour Eiffel le regard embrasse Paris.
      s’embrasser⇒ v pron (se donner des baisers) kiss (one another) v
      Nous nous embrassons avant de nous séparer.

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