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être dans de beaux draps

The French expression “être dans de beaux draps” translates directly to “to be in beautiful sheets.

English meanings:

  • to be in a real mess
  • to be in a fix
  • to be up a creek without a paddle

French meanings:

  • être dans une mauvaise situationto be in a bad situation
  • être dans une position désagréableto be in an unpleasant position

Example sentence:

  • Pendant le voyage on a volé nos passports et tout l’argent. On était vraiment dans de beaux draps! During the trip our passports and money were stolen. We were in a real mess!

Synonymous expressions:

  • être dans les sales draps – Lit: to be in dirty sheets
  • être dans le pétrin – Lit: to be in the dough kneading machine
  • être dans la mouise – Lit: to be in a mess/jam
  • être dans la merde – Lit: to be in the sh*t (vulgar, be careful!)

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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