Ne mettons pas la charrue devant les boeufs.

Ne mettons pas la charrue devant les boeufs.

nuh mett-taw PAH lah shah-REW duh-VAH lay BUH. Click below to hear this phrase!  

Let’s not put the cart before the horse.

Who knows what medieval state of agricultural affairs brought about this difference? In French, no cart, no horse: Let’s not put the plow in front of the oxen!

And note this oddity of pronunciation: un boeuf (uh BUHF), an ox; deux boeufs (duh BUH), two oxen. Just like un oeuf, (uh NUHF), an egg; deux oeufs (duh ZUH), two eggs. Not only is the final s silent, as is usual in French plurals, but the final f disappears too. More is less!

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