50 French idioms in English : Idiom N°2

Spread the love

French idiom N°2 : Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras

Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras, a nice French proverb to say that it is better to stick to what you have now rather than wait for something somewhat better later ! 😊

French idioms in English
French idioms in English
Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras audio

What do you think this French idiom means in English?

We have a few clues on the picture, namely :

Un tien 🤲 = “one to hold”
vaut mieux 💰 = “is worth”
tu l’auras 👍 = “you will have”

Notice the figures : “un” and “deux”

What is the link with the bird and the bush 🦅🌳 ?

Yes, this French idiom “Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras” in English means “one bird in the hand is worth two birds in the bush” ! ❤️

This proverb refers back to medieval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey). 🦅

Examples of “Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras” !

French idioms in English : un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

“J’hésite à acheter cette robe car c’est bientôt les soldes ! ”

  • Achète là maintenant car un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras !

🇬🇧 I don’t know if I should by this dress because the sales are on tomorrow ! 👗

  • buy it now because a bird in the hand is worth two birds in the bush !

Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras : origin

close up of a siamese fighting fish
Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

This French proverb comes from a fable from La Fontaine : “Les fables de la Fontaine” : Le petit poisson et le pêcheur 🐟

🇬🇧 The fisherman and the little fish


            Petit poisson deviendra grand
            Pourvu que Dieu lui prête vie.
            Mais le lâcher en attendant,
            Je tiens pour moi que c'est folie ;
Car de le rattraper il n'est pas trop certain.
Un Carpeau qui n'était encore que fretin 
Fut pris par un Pêcheur au bord d'une rivière.
Tout fait nombre, dit l'homme en voyant son butin ;
Voilà commencement de chère et de festin :
            Mettons-le en notre gibecière.
Le pauvre Carpillon lui dit en sa manière  :
Que ferez-vous de moi ? je ne saurais fournir
            Au plus qu'une demi-bouchée.
            Laissez-moi Carpe devenir :
            Je serai par vous repêchée.
Quelque gros Partisan m'achètera bien cher :
            Au lieu qu'il vous en faut chercher
            Peut-être encor cent de ma taille
Pour faire un plat. Quel plat ? croyez-moi, rien qui vaille.
Rien qui vaille  et bien soit, repartit le Pêcheur :
Poisson mon bel ami, qui faites le Prêcheur,
Vous irez dans la poêle ; et vous avez beau dire ;
            Dès ce soir on vous fera frire.Un Tien vaut, ce dit-on, mieux que deux Tu l'auras ;
            L'un est sûr, l'autre ne l'est pas.

Translation in English of The fisherman and the little fish

The fisherman and the little fish in French
Photo by Jayant Kulkarni on Pexels.com
Little fish will become big
Provided God gives it life.
But let go in the meantime
I hold for myself that it is madness;
Because of catching it is not too certain.
A Carpeau who was still only fry 
Was caught by a Fisherman by a river.
Everything is number, said the man, seeing his booty;
Here is the beginning of dear and feast:
Let's put it in our game bag.
Poor Carpillon told him in his own way :
What will you do with me? I could not provide
At most half a bite.
Let me Carpe become:
I will be fished out by you.
Some big Partisan will buy me dearly:
Instead you have to search
Maybe a hundred of my size
To make a dish. What dish? believe me, nothing worth it.
Nothing that is worthwhile, replied the Fisherman:
Fish my beautiful friend, who play the Preacher,
You will go into the pan; and you might say;
From this evening we will fry you.
One Yours is worth, it is said, better than two You will have it;
One is safe, the other is not.

Voilà, this was today’s French idiom in English, I hope you liked it. Click here to find out about the challenge of 50 French idioms in English.

I am a French teacherplease see my students testimonials here.👩‍🎓👨‍🎓

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any French class or are interested in my new learning course. Contact me here.

Please feel free to comment this article, your opinion matters. Click on the green logo on your left to access the comment box straight away !

WPdiscuz logo

And I’ll see you tomorrow for more French idioms in English !

Happy learning ! 🇬🇧😀❤️

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
0 Commentaires
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Learn French e-book


%d bloggers like this: