J’ai perdu le fil.

J’ai perdu le fil.

zhay pair-dewl FEEL. Click below to hear this. 

I’ve lost the thread.

If you have been sewing, you are about to be in a lot of trouble. How can you finish making that dress for your granddaughter without your fil à coudre (sewing thread)? And if you have a cat, a dog, or a toddler in the house, you may have no clue where to begin looking for it. Not to mention how empty the spool may be by the time you locate it.

If you are in the midst of a conversation, you could be in an equal amount of trouble, though of a much different kind. J’ai perdu le fil in this context means I have lost the thread of the conversation. Apparently, someone is upholding a complicated line of reasoning, and not doing a very good job of it. It may be time to change the subject, or go visit the snack table.

You’ll be in the most trouble of all if J’ai perdu le fil refers to your own train of thought. Drawing a blank in the midst of telling a story can be frightening, as can losing a key word. “Could you please hand me the…the…the…um…” doesn’t communicate very well, and tends to generate irritation on the part of the listener.

So hang on to your fil, whichever kind it is!

Alternate audio file link: jai-perdu-le-fil

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