French Expressions with Tenir

Idiomatic French expressions

Watching pictures on the smartphone together
Se tenir au courant de quelque chose means "to keep informed about something.". piola666/E+/Getty Images

The French verb tenir literally means to hold, keep, or grasp and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to keep in mind, have on good authority, keep an eye on someone, and more with this list of expressions with tenir.

tenir à + infinitive
to be anxious to

tenir à ce que + subjunctive
to be anxious that

tenir à quelque chose
to cherish something

tenir bon
to hold one's ground

tenir compagnie à quelqu'un
to keep someone company

tenir compte de
to keep in mind, to take into account

tenir debout (figuratively)
to hold water

tenir de bonne source
to have on good authority

tenir de quelqu'un
to take after someone

tenir le bon bout
to be on the right track

tenir le coup
to hold out, to make it through

tenir rigueur à quelqu'un de ne pas  
to hold it against someone for not

tenir quelqu'un à l'oeil
to keep an eye on someone

tenir quelqu'un/quelque chose pour
to regard someone/something as

en tenir pour quelqu'un
to fancy/have a crush on someone

il tient que
it depends on

Qu'à cela ne tienne. That's no problem.

tenez votre gauche/droite
to keep to the left/right

Tiens !
Hey there! or Take this.

se tenir + adjective
to behave

se tenir à quelque chose
to hold onto something

se tenir au courant de quelque chose
to keep informed about something

se tenir les côtes
to split one's sides laughing

Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Tenir conjugations