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de fil en aiguille

The French expression “de fil en aiguille” translates literally to “from thread to needle”.

English meanings:

  • gradually
  • one thing leading to another

French meanings:

  • progressivement, graduellement progressively, gradually

Example sentence:

  • Quand j’ai commencé à étudier le français j’avais beaucoup de difficultés à bien prononcer les mots et faire des phrases. Mais de fil en aiguille j’ai commencer à bien me débrouiller! When I started studying French I had a hard time pronouncing the words and constructing sentences. But, I started getting by well!

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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