The French expression "Tomber dans les pommes" revealed

Ready to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the funny French expression “Tomber dans les pommes”?

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

Finally, on this page you will find our others expressions pages and the complete directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Wish you a good learning!

Table of Contents

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French to English

How to pronounce

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


The literal meaning is:

  • Tomber → To fall
  • Dans → in
  • Les pommes → Apples

This French idiom means “To faint” and is very popular in France, but its origin isn’t perfectly clear…

The most common explanation comes from George Sand’s usage of a very similar expression in a 1889 letter. She said: “être dans les pommes cuites” (Literally: To be in the cooked apples), probably as a reference to another French expression: “être cuit” (Literally: To be cooked) which means “To be very tired“.

Then with time it turned into “Tomber dans les pommes” (To fall in apples) when experiencing a sudden and violent (like a fall) tiredness: a.k.a. fainting.

How to use

If you are going to faint, you can use: “Je vais tomber dans les pommes !” (Literally: I’m going to fall in apples!). Or if you are telling the story of that time when you fainted: “Je suis tombé(e) dans les pommes” (Literally: I felt into apples)

When talking about someone else: 

  • Elle est tombée dans les pommes. (“She felt into apples“)
  • Il est tombé dans les pommes. (“He felt into apples“)
  • Elle va tomber dans les pommes. (“She is going to fall into apples“)
  • Il va tomber dans les pommes. (“He is going to fall into apples“)

Synonyms and similarities

  • S’évanouir. (“To faint“)
  • Perdre connaissance. (“Lose consciousness“)
  • Tourner de l’oeil. (“Literally: To turn of the eye → To faint“)

Example with audio dialogue

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue text

” Je crois que je vais tomber dans les pommes “
” I think I’m going to fall in apples* “
Sérieusement ? “
” Seriously? “
” Oui, je ne me sens pas bien “
” Yes, I don’t feel good “
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