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ne pas y aller de main morte

The French expression “ne pas y aller de main morte” translates literally to: “to not go there with a dead hand”.

English meaning:

  • to not pull any punches
  • to be heavy-handed

French meaning:

  • agir sans retenueto act without restraint

Example sentence:

  • Le médecin n’y est pas allé de main morte en expliquant la situation à la famille. The doctor didn’t pull any punches while explaining the situation to the family.

Related expression:

  • ne pas faire dans la dentelle be rather indelicate
  • ne pas y aller avec le dos de la cuillèreto not mess about

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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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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