donner du fil à retordre à quelqu’un

The French expression “donner du fil à retordre à quelqu’un” offers lots of imagery as it translates literally to “to give a thread back to somebody to spin (or twist) again”. Here’s the English meaning:

  • to make somebody’s life difficult
  • to give somebody the run-around
  • to give somebody a hard time

Expressio.fr offers the following meaning in French: To cause somebody difficulties or trouble. Here’s an example sentence:

Speed up your learning with an app

Many of our students have greatly enhanced their learning by using an app. On these pages we've examined the top-30 apps for learning French. On this pages we've written comprehensive reviews for Pimsleur (great for people struggling with pronunciation), Rosetta Stone and FrenchPod101 (both great for visual learners).

  • Tout d’un coup j’ai plusieurs personnes qui m’appellent à la fois et ils me donnent du fil a retordre! I suddenly have lots of people that are calling me all at the same time and they’re making my life difficult!

more French expressions

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!