Discover the French expression "Mettre les points sur les i"

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!

By the way, you will find more of these idioms explained on this page and all our tutorials about French words on this page. Happy learning!

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French to English translation

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


  • Mettre → To put
  • Les points → The dots
  • Sur les “i” → On/over the i’s

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.

How to use it

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.


  • Mettre les points sur les i et les barres aux t. (“To put the dots over the i’s and the bars to the t’s“)
  • Mettre les points sur les i et les barres sur les t. (“To put the dots over the i’s and the bars over the t’s“)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Les jours de la semaine
The days of the week
Je vais vous apprendre les jours de la semaine en Français :
I will teach you the days of the week in French:
Les jours de la semaine sont : lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi et vendredi.
The days of the week are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Et les jours du week-end sont : samedi et dimanche.
And the weekend days are: Saturday and Sunday.
Pour les apprendre facilement, il y a une astuce…
To learn them easily, there is a trick…
Chaque jour correspond à une planète :
Each day corresponds to a planet:
Lundi correspond à la lune.
Monday corresponds to the moon.
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