Learn French
with Audio Stories

Try for Free


Discover the French expression "J'ai les dents longues"

Are you ready to discover everything you ever wanted to know about the basic French idiom "J'ai les dents longues"? To be more precise, this includes a complete guide of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. Plus, we also added some useful things like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonym and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : I am ambitious

  • Literal meaning : I have long teeth

  • Register : Neutral - Basic

How to pronounce?



  • IPA : / ʒe le dɑ̃ lɔ̃ːɡ /

aesthetic french quote avoir dents longues

Learn French
with Audio Stories

Try for Free

What does it mean?


This idiom used to mean: "To be hungry" which seems logical, but with time it ended up meaning: "To be ambitious".

Why? Because teeth are a symbol of strength / aggressivity and because "hunger" is an image for ambition. Just like in English we have: "I'm hungry for the power".

So having "long teeth" represents having a lot of ambition and having a shark mindset: ready to do anything to succeed.

How to use it

You can use it about yourself "Je ferai de grandes choses, j'ai les dents longues." (I will achieve big things, I'm ambitious.)

But also about someone else: "Ça ne m'étonne pas, il a les dents longues." (I'm not surprised, he is ambitious.)

Fun stuff

We have an even more extreme expression: "Avoir les dents qui rayent le parquet" which means "To have teeth (so long that they are) scratching the floor".

That's a lot of ambition!

Synonyms / Related

↓ Example in a story with translation ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Mon plus grand rêve

My biggest dream

ClaudeQuel est ton plus grand rêve ?
What is your biggest dream?
LéaHonnêtement ?
ClaudeOui, honnêtement.
Yes, honnestly.
LéaEh bien, je veux gagner beaucoup d'argent et vivre dans le luxe.
Well I want to make a lot of money and live in luxury.
ClaudeWow, je ne savais pas que tu avais des goûts de luxe...
Wow, I didn't know you had luxury tastes...
j'ai les dents longuesLiterally: I have long teeth
, comme tout le monde, non ?
Yes I am ambitious, like everybody, right?
ClaudeJe ne sais pas... C'est quoi le luxe pour toi ?
I don't know... What's luxury for you?
LéaÊtre capable d'acheter tout ce que veux, et conduire une belle voiture.
Being able to buy anything and driving a nice car.
ClaudeIntéressant... Quelle voiture par exemple ?
Interesting... What car for example?


The story just started!

Get full access to 365 texts and quizzes, including this one.

Discover more

Already a member? Full story and quiz here.


Merci mille fois


To vocabulary list


Je suis aux anges !

Go to previous text Go to previous phrase
Play or pause audio
Go to next phrase Go to next text