faire voir de toutes les couleurs

Welcome back to “Expressions bien de chez nous”! Remember the expression of last week, well, we haven’t changed the topic. Today, you’ll learn about another mean expression.

Where does it come from?

This expression first appeared in the second half of the XIX century and rests on the image of the chromatic circle that contains all of the colors. This turn of phrase represents the fact of enduring everything, whether it is positive or negative.

What does it mean?

First of all it is formed by two verbs: “faire” which means “to make” and “voir” that means “see”. Then we find the pronouns “toutes” (all) and “couleurs”(colors). Even if it is inspired by the chromatic circle, this expression means to suffer or stand difficult situations. Most of all, the verb “faire” gives this expression the meaning of submitting someone to difficulties or hardships of all sorts. It makes reference to causing trouble and forcing someone to go through a lot of pain or ennuis.

How can we use it?

Now, let’s take a look at some examples so to grasp the correct way of using it:


A mother is talking about the hard times she had to live when her daughter was younger :

“Ma fille m’en a fait voir de toutes les couleurs jusqu’à l’âge de 5 ou 6 ans”.

In this situation, a  man shares the difficult situation he’s living with his neighbor. The last one threatened to give him a hard time if he didn’t cut the trees that block the sun from his pool:

“Mon voisin m’a menacé de m’en faire voir de toutes les couleurs si je ne coupais pas certains de mes arbres qui l’empêche d’avoir sa piscine au soleil l’après-midi”. 

This time, someone talks about their cousin, who had a very hard time with his first job:

 “Mon cousin en a vu de toutes les couleurs avec son premier patron, qui était un type épouvantable”.

Another situation can be in reference to a big deception. The next example belongs to a person who had a bad experience on vacation, because of the inhabitants of the village he was visiting:

 “J’ai passé des vacances lamentables : on en a vu de toutes les couleurs avec les habitants du village où nous campions”.

Do you know another expression for “have a hard time”? Let us know in the comments!

We have set up some quizzes so that you can better understand this expression. Just click below to access these quizzes.

faire voir de toutes les couleurs

faire voir de toutes les couleurs

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