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tirer des plans sur la comète

“Tirer des plans sur la comète” is one of the most comical French expressions. The literal meaning is “to draw plans on the comet”. English meanings including:

  • to build castles in the air
  • to make overly ambitious plans
  • to chase rainbows
  • pie in the sky
  • pipe dreams

A French definition from defines the idiom as to make plans based on theories that are not possible and bound to fail.

Il ne faut jamais tirer plans sur la comète. Il faut et réaliste et baser ses projets sur la realité. One must never build castles in the air. One must be realistic and make plans based on reality.

Here are some synonymous expressions in French:

  • faire des châteaux en Espagne – Literally to make castles in Spain
  • faire des projets chimériques – Literallly to make fanciful plans

main expressions list

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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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