The French saying "Les bons comptes font les bons amis"

Are you ready to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the basic saying “Les bons comptes font les bons amis”?

This include a full definition of what it mean and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. But wait, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonym and more!

In addition, you can also find our others sayings guides on this page and all our content about French words on this page. Have fun!

Table of Contents

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Translation in English

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


It literally means:

  • Les bons comptes→ Good accounts
  • font → make
  • les bons amis → good friends

This proverb means that in order to maintain the friendship, each must pay their respective debts. There are two similar proverbs in English: “Short reckonings make long friends” and “A debt paid is a friend kept“.

Because when you owe your friends money and take a lot of time to pay back or don’t payback at all, the friendship is likely to suffer from this situation. So if you’re borrowing money from a good friend, it’s best to return the money as soon as possible.

How to use

If a friend is taking a lot of time to refund you and it pisses you off, you can use “Les bons comptes font les bons amis” as a reminder (and a minor threat…) that your friendship might suffer if this situation doesn’t change soon.

On the other hand, if you owe a friend money you can say: “Je vais te rembourser dès que possible, les bons comptes font les bons amis” which means “I will refund you as soon as possible, good accounts make good friends“. In this case, it means you value the friendship and will honestly do your best to honor your debt quickly.

Synonyms and similarities

  • Les dettes sont les ciseaux de l’amitié. → Debts are the scissors of friendship.

Everyday life dialogue example with audio

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Tiens, voilà l’argent que je te devais “
” Here is the money I owed you “
” Merci ! “
” Thank you! “
De rien ! Les bons comptes font les bons amis “
” Good accounts make good friends “
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