C’est le cas de le dire!

C’est le cas de le dire!

sail KAHD luh DEER!  Click below to hear the sound file!  

I’ll say! You can say that again! You got that right! or even: You took the words right out of my mouth!

You are congratulating that person who just said something brilliantly appropriate. The French really says something more like: This is the case/occasion for saying that!

This expression is sometimes used to connect the figurative meaning of a pun or an idiom with the literal situation at hand. For example, to take an idiom we discussed recently: You are watching someone goofing around, seeing how full he can get his glass of water (or worse, Coke…). He pours slo-o-o-wly, and has the glass full to the brim, even standing above the brim. Suddenly, of course, the water (or Coke) is all over the table.

Some wag says, C’est la goutte d’eau qui a fait déborder le vase! And you, very cleverly, exclaim, C’est le cas de le dire! And everyone laughs, because usually, when you speak of drops of water and overflowing vases, you are not speaking literally, but figuratively.

Note how this sentence handles the e instable. (Click on e instable in the Category drop-down menu in the sidebar to see other posts that discuss this issue.) The first one, in c’est le cas, can be dropped because it sits between two strong syllables (that is, neither of them contains an e instable). But in the second part of the sentence, we have de le dire.

We can only drop one of those two e, and it should be the first one because it sits right after that strong syllable cas (consonant + vowel sound, nothing more). That means that we are obligated to pronounce the second e, the one in le. Dropping both would give us a series of consonant sounds impossible to pronounce together without vowel sounds to prop them up. (Try saying dld!)

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