The French saying "En avril ne te découvre pas d'un fil"

Get ready to learn all the things you have to know about the basic French saying “En avril ne te découvre pas d’un fil”.

It includes a detailed definition of what it mean and how you can use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And because we want you to make progress in French, we also added useful stuff like literal meaning, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

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Translation in English

Audio pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


It literally means:

  • En avril → In April
  • ne te découvre pas→ do not uncover yourself
  • d’un fil → of any thread

This proverb reminds us to not be too optimistic when the good weather arrives (generally in April in France) and risk being ill by exposing ourselves too much.

That’s why the second part of the proverb is “En mai, fais ce qu’il te plaît.“(In May, do what you like). It advises us to wait for May to really enjoy the spring.

And there is even a third part: “En juin, de trois habits n’en garde qu’un.” (In June, of the three clothes, only one). But it’s less commonly used.

How to use it

If someone you know is a bit too optimistic in his/her choice of clothes during the beginning of spring, remind this person to be careful. For that simply use: “En avril ne te découvre pas d’un fil.

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.
Le piège du printemps
The spring trap
Jacques tousse…
Jacques coughs…
Alice:   Jacques ? Ça va ?
Jacques? Are you ok?
Jacques:   Ouais, ça va. Je tousse juste un peu.
Yeah, I’m okay. I’m just coughing a little.
Alice:   Tu es malade ?
Are you sick?
Jacques:   Je ne suis pas sûr.
I’m not sure.
Alice:   Tu as d’autres symptômes ?
Do you have any other symptoms?
Jacques:   J’ai mal à la gorge et j’ai le nez qui coule.
I have a sore throat and a runny nose.
Alice:   Alors tu es certainement malade. Pourtant tu t’habilles toujours chaudement…
Then you are certainly sick. Yet you always dress warmly…
Jacques:   Pas hier… Il faisait soleil, alors je suis sorti en T-shirt.
Not yesterday… It was sunny, so I went out in a T-shirt.
Alice:   Mais tu connais le proverbe ! En avril, ne te découvre pas d’un fil !
But you know the proverb! Don’t trust warm weather in April!
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