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il y a de l’eau dans le gaz

“Il y a de l’eau dans le gaz” is a French expression that translates directly to: “there is water in the gas”.

English meanings:

  • things are not running too smoothly
  • trouble in brewing

This expression is a culinary metaphor. The idea is that when something goes array in the kitchen, the water boils over the pot and ends up on the gas stove.

French meanings:

  • Ça ne va pas très bien it’s not going every well
  • l’atmosphère est tenduethe atmosphere is tense
  • des querelles se préparent altercations are brewing

Example sentence:

  • Malheureusment ça ne va pas très bien entre mon colocataire et moi. Il y a de l’eau dans le gaz. It’s not going well between my roommate and me. Things are not running too smoothly.

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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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