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The French expression "Mettre les points sur les i"

Ready to discover all the things you need to know about the basic idiom "Mettre les points sur les i"? Including a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example.Additionally, we also added super useful stuff like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

French to English

  • Translation : To make things perfectly clear

  • Literal meaning : To put the dots over the i's

  • Register : Neutral - Basic




  • IPA : / mɛtʁə le pwɛ̃ syʁ lez- i /

aesthetic french quote mettre points sur les i

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What does it mean exactly?


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

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.

Synonyms / Related

↓ Example in a story with slow audio ↓

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

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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Je jette l'éponge


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Ça m'est égal

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