Get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the basic idiom “Mettre les points sur les i”.
More precisely, it includes a detailed explanation of what it is and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. Together with the cool things we added like literal meaning, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!
You are copying the super long WiFi code from the router and the last letter is “|“. But wait, is it a small “L” or a capital “i“?! You try the first option: failed. You have to type everything again.
What was the problem here? Easy, they just, literally, didn’t put the dots over the i’s: they were not crystal clear with the instructions.
That’s why when someone is being super precise with something, he/she is “putting the dots over the i’s” (“Il/elle met les points sur les i“)
a.k.a. This person is being so precise that there is no possible confusion.
To be more precise, we can use it in two cases.
The first one being what we explained above, for example, to express: “I had been very precise about it” you can say “J’ai mis les points sur les i“.
But there is a second scenario, linked to the first one but more subtle. In the example above “precise” literally refers to precision, but it also works when “precise” is used to say “bossy” or “harsh” or “direct“.
For example, if your boss just fired someone harshly and with a “bossy attitude“, then you can say “On peut dire qu’il a mis les point sur les i…” (We can say that he put dots over the i’s…).
Because once again, there is no debate, no confusion, this guy is fired. Period.