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En avoir ras le bol – Meaning & Translation – To be fed up

En avoir ras le bol – Meaning & Translation – To be fed up

Today we’ll look at an expression that you’d commonly hear in spoken French but rarely see in the textbooks: En avoir ras le bol, meaning “to be really fed up”. Keep reading and we’ll explain the literal translation.

en avoir ras le bol

to be really fed up

En avoir ras le bol = to be really fed up

En avoir ras le bol – to be really fed up

Meaning explanation

This expression is not easy to explain. The literal translation of en avoir ras le bol (to be really fed up) is “to have (or to be) at the brim of the bowl”. Ras implies “limit”. A close English expression is “I’ve had it up to here”.

The pronoun en can translate to “it” or “them” and is used for verbs followed by the preposition de. French Today does a great job explaining en in this post.

Example sentences

Note that the expression can also be written with hypens: ras-le-bol. In this first example sentence, the slang reflexive verb se casser (literally to break yourself) means “to leave” or “be outta here”. This post on our site explains reflexive verbs.

J’en ai ras-le-bol, je me casse !

I’m really fed up. I’m outta here!

In this second example, il fait froid means “it’s cold out”. This lesson on our site covers weather terms. We explain depuis (since) in this lesson.

Il fait très froid depuis deux semaines, et j’en ai ras le bol !

It’s been really cold for two weeks and I’ve really had enough!

In this last example, en avoir ras le bol is followed by the preposition de + noun, implying “to be sick or tired of + noun. En avoir ras le bol could also be followed by an infinitive to mean “to be sick of doing something”.

J’en ai ras le bol de tes prétextes !

I’ve had enough of your excuses!

Ras-le-bol – noun usage

Note the usage of the masculine noun ras-le-bol. Meanings include gloominess, dispair and bleakness. For exmaple, le ras-le-bol des citoyens (the dispair of the citizens).

Conclusion

Et voilà ! You’re now an expert in using the French idiom en avoir ras le bol. Now check our Word of the Day lesson covering a very similar expression: En avoir marre (to be fed up, sick of).

Elle en a ras le bol. = She is really fed up.
Elle en a ras le bol. = She is really fed up.

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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, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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