Fais gaffe

French expressions analyzed and explained

man hiker standing on boulder between two cliffs
Keren Su/Stone/Getty Images

Expression: Fais gaffe !

Pronunciation: [feh gahf]

Meaning: Be careful! Watch out!

Literal translation: Make mistake!

Register: informal

Notes: The French expression fais gaffe is interesting because it means just the opposite of its literal translation. Faire une gaffe means "to make a mistake, to blunder," so you would think that "be careful!" would be something more like ne fais pas de gaffe ! Apparently leaving out une is enough to turn the meaning around.

You can also say Fais gaffe à toi to mean "Watch yourself."

Example
   Ça peut être dangereux - fais gaffe !
   That can be dangerous - be careful!

More: Expressions with faire | Most common French phrases

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "Fais gaffe." ThoughtCo, Dec. 4, 2016, thoughtco.com/fais-gaffe-1371222. Lawless, Laura K. (2016, December 4). Fais gaffe. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/fais-gaffe-1371222 Lawless, Laura K. "Fais gaffe." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/fais-gaffe-1371222 (accessed January 18, 2018).