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ne pas arriver à la cheville de quelqu’un

The French expression “ne pas arriver à la cheville de quelqu’un” translates literally to “to not arrive at somebody’s angle”.

English meaning:

  • to not measure up to somebody
  • cannot hold a candle to somebody
  • to not be have the man/woman somebody is

A French meaning is “être bien moins bon que quelqu’un”, to be significantly worse than somebody else.

Example sentence:

  • Nous avons un nouveau chef mais il n’arrive pas au cheville du précédent. We have a new boss but he doesn’t measure up to the predecessor.

Synonymous expression:

  • être à la hauteur -> Je ne serai jamais à la hauteur de mon précédent. Je devrais quitter tout de suite! I’ll never measure up to my predecessor. I should leave now!

more French 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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