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tirer son épingle du jeu

“Tirer son épingle du jeu” is a French expression that translates literally to “to pull your pin from the game”. Épingle (m) is pin and jeu (m) is game.

Here are some translations:

  • to come out unscathed
  • to get out of a tricky situation
  • to play your cards right
  • to do well while others fail

French-to-French definitions on include:

  • Skillfully extricating oneself from a delicate situation; and
  • Getting out of a bad business deal in timely fashion without losing money

Another French equivalent to this expression is “bien s’en sortir“, which means to manage well or get by fine.

example sentence:

  • La crise était horrible. Les gens tombaient malade partout. Mais Pierre a suivi tous les consignes du gouvernement et il a tiré son épingle du jeu. The crisis was horrible. People everywhere were getting sick. But Pierre followed the government’s recommendation and he came out unscathed.

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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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