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faire d’une pierre deux coups

The French expression “faire d’une pierre deux coups” translates literally to “make two strikes with one stone”. The meaning in English is:

  • to kill two birds with one stone.

According to, the expression dates to the 16th century when used by Montaigne. A French-to-French definition suggests that the idiom means to reach two or more objectives with one single action or means.

sample sentence:

  • En arrêtant de fumer, j’ai fait d’une pierre deux coups: J’ai recouvré la santé et j’ai commencé a dépenser moins d’argent. By stopping smoking I killed two birds with one stone: got healthy and started spending less money.

Here are some other expression with the word pierre (stone):

  • apporter sa pierre à l’édifice to play your part, do your bit
  • avoir un cœur de pierre to have a heart of stone
  • geler à pierre fendre to be very cold
  • jeter la pierre à qqn to judge somebody
  • manger au lance-pierre to grab a quick bite to eat
  • marquer qqch d’une pierre blanche to be a landmark event

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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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