Je suis à bout de patience.
zhuh swee ah bood paa-seeYAHS. Click below to hear this.*
I am out of patience.
To know the ins and outs of this expression, you just have to remember that there are none. In French, being out of things calls for different expressions depending on what you are out of. If it’s milk, you say Je n’ai plus de lait. If it’s patience, you say Je suis à bout de patience.
Literally, you are saying I am at [the] end of [my] patience. That should be easy to remember, because that’s also just about when you reach the end of your rope.
You can also be à bout d’excuses (out of excuses: no more sick relatives, dogs to the vet, sprained ankles, flooded basements–you’re going to have to go to work, I’m afraid), or à bout de moyens. In this last case, you are probably out of money, but you could also be out of some other sort of means to accomplish something. For example, you have already begged, pleaded, made promises, bargained, threatened, and attempted to bribe someone. What else is left? You are à bout de moyens.
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: