The French sentence "À un de ces quatre" explained

We are going to show you all the things you need to know about the basic idiom “À un de ces quatre”.

To be clear, this includes a full definition of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. As well as the useful stuff we added like dialogue example, synonyms, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and in case you are interested, you will find our others idioms tutorials on this page plus the ultimate list of all our French words tutorials on this page. Ready to learn? C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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French to English translation

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?

Definition

“À un de ces quatre” is the French way to say “See you later” or “See you around“. It’s useful when you don’t know exactly when you will see the person again. If it’s not the case, other expressions are more appropriate. More on that in the next section…

How to use it

Every time you are leaving someone, you have to think of when will be the next time you will see this person again. The answer to this question will affect how to say goodbye.

If the next time you will see the person is not defined, you can use:

And here are the ones you can use if you know when you will see the person again:

  • À tout de suite / À toute / Je reviens tout de suite → 1 to 30 minutes*
  • À tout à l’heure / À toute / Je reviens → 30 minutes to later today*
  • À ce soir → This evening
  • À demain → Tomorrow
  • À lundi / mardi / mercredi… → Next Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday…
  • À la semaine prochaine → Next week

*The time frames aren’t fixed, but being too far from it might cause some misunderstandings.

Fun facts

This expression is the short version of “Un de ces quatre matins” (One of these four mornings), in the sense of “one of the few mornings to come“. It designates a small quantity and a short duration, but which remains indeterminate, which explains its imprecision and its equivalence with “someday“.

Synonyms and similarities

Reminder: most of them are not “full synonyms“. Please check the “How to use” section above for more details.

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Au revoir, voisine
Goodbye, neighbor
___
Joe rentrait chez lui.
Joe was going home.
À l’entrée, il rencontra Isabelle. Elle transportait des gros cartons…
At the entrance, he met Isabelle. She was carrying heavy boxes…
Joe a immédiatement proposé de l’aider.
Joe immediately offered to help her
Elle sourit et lui donna quelques cartons à transporter.
She smiled and gave him a few boxes to transport.
Ensuite, elle lui annonça qu’elle déménageait…
Then, she told him that she was moving…
Joe était surpris.
Joe was surprised.
Joe:   Tu vas où ?
Where are you going?
Isabelle:   Chez mes parents. Ils vivent à Lyon.
At my parents. They live in Lyon.
Joe baissa la tête.
Joe looked down.
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