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on a beau dire, on a beau faire.

What do they mean, please?

For learning: French
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    On a beau dire: It's like "we may say this as much as we want, it's not true."

    Example:

    "On a beau dire que les français sont élégants, ils portent parfois des vêtements horribles."
    "We may say that french people are fashionable, sometimes they wear some awful clothe."

    "On a beau dire que Jean est adorable, je le trouve méchant."
    "We may say that Jean is lovely, I think he is mean."

    On a beau faire: Close meaning, but used for actions.

    "On a beau travailler beaucoup, on ne gagne pas beaucoup d'argent."
    "We may work a lot, but we don't earn a lot of money."

    "On a beau [something we say or do], [something opposite to what would be expected]."

    Hope that helps!

     

    To simplify Anna's good answer, it means "there's no point"/it's useless".

    If you took those words from the song "Amen" by Mickey 3D:
    - On a beau dire, on a beau faire, tout ce qu'on peut pour tout gâcher

    it means "try as hard as you want" (to spoil everything) but it won't work"

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