Discover the French phrase "Couper la poire en deux"

Get prepared to find out everything you want to know about the basic French idiom “Couper la poire en deux”.

To be clear, this includes a complete explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. And because we want you to make progress in French, we also added useful informations like slow pronunciation audio, synonyms, dialogue example and more!

Oh and in case you are interested, you can also find more idioms pages like this one on this page plus all our French words guides on this page. Enjoy!

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French to English

How to pronounce

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?

Definition

The literal meaning is:

  • Couper → To cut
  • la poire → the pear
  • en deux → in two (pieces)

This expression appeared during the 1880s and is based on the image of a pear that is cut in half equally for a fair share between two people. Why the choice of the pear is still a mystery…

How to use it

Imagine: you are in the middle of a tough negotiation and both sides don’t want to give up. You can propose a compromise by saying “Faisons un compromis” (Let’s make a compromise) or “Coupons la poire en deux” (Let’s cut the pear in half)

Synonyms and similarities

  • Faire un compromis → To make a compromise
  • Partager en deux → To split in two

Example in a story with English translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this expression in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Le compromis
The compromise
___
Emily et Philippe avaient une relation respectueuse et attentionnée.
Emily and Philippe had a respectful and caring relationship.
Ils essayaient de garder leur relation saine et de beaucoup communiquer.
They were trying to keep their relationship healthy and to communicate a lot.
Si quelque chose les dérangeaient, ils en parlaient.
If something was bothering them, they would talk about it.
Emily a découvert que Philippe jouait aux jeux vidéos pendant des heures tous les soirs.
Emily found out that Philippe was playing video games for hours every night.
Elle n’avait rien contre les jeux vidéos, mais elle savait qu’il était fatigué à cause de cette mauvaise habitude.
She had nothing against video games, but she knew that he was tired because of this bad habit.
Elle a donc décidé d’en parler.
So, she decided to talk about it.
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