promettre monts et merveilles

“Promettre monts et merveilles” is a fun little French idiom that translates literally to “to promise mountains and marvels”. English meanings include:

  • to promise the moon
  • to promise the earth
  • to promise the sun, moon and stars

A French definition on expressio.fr offers the following meaning: “to promise considerable advantages or benefits, admirable and surprising things.”

Here’s a sample sentence:

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  • Quand Pierre a eu son nouveau poste il a promis monts et merveilles a son patron mais apres quelques mois il n’avait rien fait. When Pierre got his not job position he promised the moon to his boss. But, after a few months he hadn’t done anything.

synonymous expressions include:

  • promettre mers et monde to promise the seas and world (Canadian)
  • promettre la lune à quelqu’un to promise the moon to somebody
  • éblouir à force de belles promesses to dazzle with beautiful promises

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