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rester en carafe

The French expression “rester en carafe” translates literally to “to stay in the decanter”. English meanings include the following:

  • to be left stranded
  • to be left high and dry
  • to break down offers lots of interesting meanings: 1) To feel frustrated, abandoned and forgotten; 2) To be left on your own and 3) To not be able to find your words (when giving a speech). What’s more, the expression “tomber en carafe” means “tomber en panne” (to break down).

Here’s an example sentence:

  • Le matin de la tempête de neige nous n’avons pas pu monter le col. On est resté en carafe et a attendu trois heures pour la dépanneuse. The morning of the snowstorm we weren’t able to get over the mountain pass. We were suck and waited three hours for the tow truck.

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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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