Welcome back to another instalment of French word of the week. This time, we’re looking at the -er verb sauter.
Before we get into the translations, listen to the audio clip to hear its pronunciation:
After hearing the verb aloud, you might find that you recognise it from a cooking term we use in English. If you’re familiar with the kitchen, maybe you’ve heard of sautéed vegetables or recipe instructions to sauté prawns in a pan. This word comes from our French verb.
Sauter means to jump, which is somewhat the same action of tossing ingredients in the pan. It can also mean to leap, or to skip or miss. Of course, it’s also used in French in the same way as English for the cooking technique.
Before diving into examples, let’s quickly cover the grammar. The verb sauter follows a regular -er pattern in all tenses. Head over to our Easy Learning French Grammar pages for information on regular conjugation of -er verbs in the present indicative, present subjunctive and imperfect tense.
Ready to see how sauter works in action?
Mon chien pourrait sauter cette barrière s’il voulait échapper. My dog would be able to jump this gate if he wanted to escape.
Ils ont sauté par la fenêtre pour éviter le feu. They jumped out of the window to avoid the fire.
Pour s’entraîner à la boxe, Fatima saute à la corde tous les jours. For boxing training, Fatima skips every day.
Je sauterai dans l’eau s’il n’y a pas de méduses ! I will jump into the water if there are no jellyfish!
sauter en parachute to do a parachute jump
sauter à l’élastique to bungee jump
sauter par-dessus quelque chose to jump over something
sauter sur quelque chose to pounce on something; to jump on something
While the previous examples all involve someone or something literally doing the action of leaping or jumping, the next set of examples show some more figurative uses of the verb. It’s commonly used in these ways too:
faire sauter to blow up; to explode
faire sauter les plombs to blow a fuse; to trip the electrics
sauter de joie ; sauter au plafond to jump for joy
sauter aux yeux to be blindingly obvious; to be eye-catching
J’ai du mal à comprendre ce chapitre parce que j’ai sauté plusieurs lignes. I’m struggling to understand this chapter because I skipped several lines.
Tout le monde croit que notre patron va sauter. Everyone thinks that our boss is going to get sacked.
Elle était si occupée par le travail, qu’elle a sauté le repas. She was so busy with work that she skipped a meal.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog and that the learning curve isn’t too much of a big jump – make sure you don’t skip the next one!
Written by Holly Tarbet, freelance copywriter and editor.
All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.