The French phrase "L'herbe est toujours plus verte chez le voisin"

Get ready to learn everything you have to know about the basic French saying “L’herbe est toujours plus verte chez le voisin”.

It includes a complete definition of what it mean and how you can use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. But that’s not all, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like synonyms, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

In addition, on this page you will find more of these sayings tutorials and the ultimate directory of all our French words content on this page. Wishing you a good learning!

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English translation

Pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?

Definition

The literal meaning is:

  • L’herbe → The grass
  • est toujours → is always
  • plus verte → more green
  • chez le voisin → At the neighbor’s

 

This expression means that appearances can be misleading and that we should be happy with what we have.

The allusion to the greenness of the grass is a sign of abundance and prosperity. Also, the adverb “always” is used ironically to insist on the fact that things are never as we imagine them.The origin of this expression remains blurry and seems born from a deceptive optical effect, giving the grass a perfect shine when observed from a distance. But seen up close, not so much.

How to use it

Use this expression when someone imagines that the situation in another place (often undetermined) is better than the one he/she is living right now.

Fun facts

It’s very similar to the English expression “The grass is always greener on the other side

Synonyms and similarities

  • L’herbe est toujours plus verte ailleurs → The grass is always greener somewhere else
  • L’herbe est toujours plus verte de l’autre côté de la montagne → The grass is always greener on the other side of the mountain
  • L’herbe est toujours plus verte dand le pré du voisin → The grass is always greener in the neighbor’s meadow

 

Example in a story with slow audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this proverb in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Un petit-déjeuner typique
A typical breakfast
___
Samedi matin, Joe et Angèle se réunirent pour le petit déjeuner.
Saturday morning, Joe and Angèle gathered for breakfast.
Ils ont décidé de se retrouver dans un café.
They decided to meet in a cafe.
Pendant la conversation, Joe avoua à Angèle :
During the conversation, Joe confessed to Angèle:
Joe:   Tu sais, avant de venir en France je rêvais d’un petit-déjeuner typiquement français, avec juste un café et un croissant.
You know, before coming to France I was dreaming of a typical French breakfast, with just a coffee and a croissant.
Angèle:   Pourquoi ?
Why?
Joe:   Sûrement parce que je voyais beaucoup de belles photos comme ça sur Internet.
Probably because I saw a lot of beautiful pictures like this on internet.
Angèle:   Je vois ce que tu veux dire. C’est la même chose pour moi avec les In-N-Out Burgers…
I see what you mean. It’s the same thing for me with the In-N-Out Burgers…
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