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en connaître un rayon

The French expression “en connaître un rayon” translates literally to “to know a department [in a store]”. English meanings include:

  • to be really clued in
  • to know your stuff
  • to know a thing or two

French-to-French meaning is “etre calé” (to be good at something) and “savoir beaucoup” (to know a a lot).

Here’s an example sentence:

Il habite dans ces montagnes depuis plus que vingt ans. Il connaît toutes les pistes de randonees comme sa poche. En fait, on peut dire qu’il en connaît un rayon. He’s lived in these mountains for more than 20 years. He knows all the hiking trails like the back of his hand. Actually, you can say he knows his stuff.

A synonym is “s’y connaître en + subject”:

  • Il s’y connait en français. He knows a thing or two about French.

more French expressions

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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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