être à côté de la plaque

The French expression “être à côté de la plaque” translates literally to “to be on the side of the target”. The idiom in particular has several English meanings:

  • to be clueless
  • to be wide off the mark
  • to be incorrect, inaccurate
  • to be off the beam
  • to be completely mistaken
  • to miss the point completely

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).

Marc travaille dans la finance depuis trois ans mais il ne comprend pas du tout ce qui se passe dans les marchés financiers. Il est vraiment à côté de la plaque. Mark has been working in finance for three years but he doesn’t understand what’s happening in the financial markets at all. He’s really clueless.

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!