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The French proverb "Les chiens ne font pas des chats"

Ready to learn all the things you want to know about the funny proverb "Les chiens ne font pas des chats"? More precisely, it includes a complete guide of what it mean and how to use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. And also the useful things we added like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

French to English

  • Translation : The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

  • Literal meaning : Dogs don't make cats

  • Register : Informal - Funny

How to pronounce it



  • IPA : / le ʃjɛ̃ nə fɔ̃ pa de ʃa. /

aesthetic french quote chiens font pas des chats

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What does it mean?


Even though we can be very different, we all tend to have few similar features with our parents. These genetic common traits can be physical, about character or even about tastes and likes.

That's why two teachers are more likely to have a child who becomes a teacher than non-teachers couples. And why (obviously) dogs are not making cats.

How to use it

This proverb is a dangerous weapon that can save you as much as it can hurt you, here is how to use it:

For children: if your parents are mad at you about something you do and they actually do the same thing, remind them "Les chiens ne font pas des chats".

I mean, this is not your fault after all. They started first and transmitted it to you, right? (*wink*)

But be careful, parents can also use it against you...

For parents: if you are proud of a certain quality of your child, use this proverb to brag about it. If they have this quality, it's 100% because you are so good that you ended up transmitting it to them. (*wink again*)

Ideally, keep this trick in case your child is using the technique above against you.

Synonyms / Related

↓ Example in a story with slow French audio ↓

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

La course de Formule 1

The Formula 1 race

Jacques regarde une course de voiture à la télé.
Jacques watches a car race on TV.
AliceEncore une de tes courses stupides ?
Again one of your stupid races?
JacquesC'est pas stupide ! C'est la Formule 1.
It's not stupid! It's Formula 1.
AliceJe m'en fiche, baisse le son s'il te plaît. C'est vraiment fort.
I don't care, please turn the volume down. It's really loud.
AliceJe n'arrive pas à croire que tu regardes ça, c'est tellement ennuyeux !
I can't believe you're watching that, it's so boring!
JacquesTu parles comme maman...
You talk like mom...
AliceEt tu agis comme papa !
And you act like dad!
Les chiens ne font pas des chatsLiterally: Dogs don't make cats
, n'est-ce pas ?
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, isn't it?


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Les chiens ne font pas des chats


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Qui vole un œuf vole un bœuf

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