French Expressions with Sonner

Idiomatic French expressions

The French verb sonner literally means "to ring," and is used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn about ringing bells, ringing ears, ringing hollow, and more with this list of expressions with sonner.

Possible meanings of sonner

  • to ring
  • to call/ring for
  • to jingle
  • to sound
  • to toll
  • (inf) to stun, knock for a loop

Expressions with sonner

sonner à toute volée
to peal out

sonner l'alarme
to sound the alarm

sonner bien/mal
to sound good/bad

sonner chez quelqu'un
to ring someone's doorbell

sonner clair
to ring clearly

sonner creux
to sound/ring hollow

sonner faux
to sound out of tune, to ring false

sonner l'heure
to strike the hour

sonner juste
to sound in tune, to ring true

sonner trois coups
to ring three times

sonner les cloches à quelqu'un (inf)
to tell someone off, give someone a roasting

se faire sonner les cloches (inf)
to be told off

se sonner les oreilles
to have ringing ears

à 3 heures sonnantes
at 3 o'clock on the dot

avoir quarante ans bien sonnés (inf)
to be on the wrong side of 40

être bien sonné par (inf)
to be knocked for six, knocked flat

Il est 3 heures sonnées.

It's past 3 o'clock.

La nouvelle l'a un peu sonné (inf)
He was rather taken aback by the news.

On ne t'a pas sonné ! (inf)
Who asked you! Nobody asked you!

sonique (adj)

une sonnaille
bell, ringing

sonnant (adj)
chiming, striking, resonant

sonné (adj)
past, gone

sonné (inf adj)

sonné (fam adj)
crazy, cracked

la sonnerie
ringing, bell, call, alarm, chimes

une sonnette
bell, pile driver

un sonneur
bell ringer, pile driver operator

la sono(risation)
PA system, sound system

sonore (adj)
resonant, ringing, sonorous

la sonorité
tone, sonority, voicing, resonance, acoustics

un sonotone (trademark)
hearing aid

Sonner conjugations