top 10 French expressions with tête

The French word “tête” means head. In this lesson we’ll learn ten useful expressions with this word including sample sentences.

Avoir mal à la tête = To have a headache.

  • J’ai trop bu hier soir et j’ai mal à la tête ce matin.
    I drank too much last night and I have a headache this morning.

Être bien dans sa tête = To be calm, at ease, tranquil.

  • Il est bien dans sa tête et il est très à l’aise.
    He’s calm and very much at ease.

Avoir la tête dans les nuages = To have have your head in the clouds, to be distracted, daydreaming

  • Il a la tête dans les nuages et il ne fait pas attention.
    He has his head in the clouds and he’s not paying attention.

Avoir la tête sur les épaules = To have common sense

  • Elle a la tête sur les épaules et elle réussit dans la vie.
    She has good common sense and she’s succeeding in life.

Avoir la tête dure = To be stubborn, obstinate, headstrong.

  • Il a la tête dure et il sait qu’il réussira.
    He’s tenacious and he knows he’ll succeed.

Avoir la tête dans le guidon = Have your nose to the grindstone, to be highly focused on a task

  • Il a la tête dans le guidon et il travaille tres sérieusement.
    He has is nose to the grindstone and he’s working very seriously.

Avoir la tête ailleurs = To be elsewhere, in your own little world.

  • Il ne nous écoute pas parce qu’il a la tête ailleurs.
    He’s not listening to us because he’s in his own little world.

Faire la tête = To sulk, pout, show you’re not happy

  • Pourquoi est-ce que tu fais la tête? Tu n’est pas content?
    Why are you sulking? You’re not happy?

Avoir une grosse tête = To be big-headed, arrogant

  • Il a une grosse tête et je le trouve très arrogant!
    He’s big-headed and I find him (to be) arrogant.

Avoir une sale tête = To appear tired

  • Dis donc, tu as une sale tête ce matin. Tu n’as pas assez dormi?
    Hey, you look tired this morning. Did you get enough sleep?
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About 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.