être la cinquième roue du carrosse

The French expression “être la cinquième roue du carrosse” translates literally to “to be the fifth wheel of the coach”. The meaning of this particular expression is very easy to guess:

  • to feel like the third wheel

The French version of this expression actually makes a bit more sense than in English. Can you imagine – a coach with five wheels!?

Here’s an example sentence:

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Hier soir je suis allé au restaurant avec Marie et Pierre. Je me suis amusé mais je me sentais comme la cinquième roue du carrosse. Yesterday evening I went out to eat with Marie and Pierre. I had fun but I felt like the third wheel.

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