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remettre les pendules à l’heure

“Remettre les pendules à l’heure” is fun figurative French expression that translates literally to “to put the clocks back to the [right] hour.” Here are a few English meaings:

  • to set the record straight
  • to lay it on the line
  • to make no bones about something

A French meaning of the expression according to is to come to agreement on topic of discussion, in order to move forward. Another meaning is simply to re-establish the truth.

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Avant de quitter son emploi Pierre a voulu remettre les pendules à l’heure pour expliquer ce qui s’est vraiment passé. Before leaving his job Pierre wanted to set the record straight to explain what really happened.

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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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