mettre la main à la pâte

“Mettre la main à la pâte” is a lovely French expression that translates literally to “to put the hand at the dough”. The English meaning is:

  • to lend a hand
  • to lend a helping hand
  • to chip in
  • pitch in
  • to muck in (UK)

The idea is that by helping to knead the dough you’re offering a helping hand. Expressio.fr gives a great French definition: to participate in work, in what needs to be one.

Here’s an example sentence:

Speed up your learning with the right audio course

My friend, Camille, at Frenchtoday.com has helped thousands of students to build a solid base in their French speaking since 1999. She is now offering all of her audio courses at 20% off until September 4th. Click here to learn more!

Tous ce qui assistent à la fete mettent la main à la pate: Jacques prépare la salade, Marie prépare la pizza et Jean prépare le dessert. Everybody who’s attending the party is lending a hand: Jacques is making the salad, Marie is making the pizza and Jean is making the dessert.

more French expressions

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!