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faire des pieds et des mains

The French expression “faire des pieds et des mains” translates literally to “to make feet and hands.

English meaning:

  • to move heaven and earth
  • to make every effort
  • to pull out all the stops

French meanings:

  • faire tous ses effortsto make all one’s efforts

Example sentence:

  • Ses parents ont fait des pieds et des mains pour qu’il soit accepté dans une université prestigieuse. His parents moved heaven and earth so that he could be accepted at a prestigious university.

Related expression:

  • remuer ciel et terre to move the sky (heavens) and earth
  • sortir le grand jeu – Lit: to bring out the big game (to pull out all the stops)
  • mettre le paquet, mettre la gomme – Lit: to put the package or gum/resin (to pull out all the stops)
  • se donner à fond – Lit: to give of oneself to the end (to go all out)
  • donner tout ce qu’on a se surpasser – Lit: to give everything that one has to outperform (to go all out)

more 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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