"Comment vous débrouillez-vous ?"

Translation:How do you get by?

March 30, 2018



For any non-native English speakers, the meaning may not be immediately obvious. Here "get by" is used in the figurative sense, as in to manage (living in) a situation.

Example from the wild: "Encore maintenant, je ne peux pas me débrouiller toute seule."

"Even now, I cannot manage on my own."

March 30, 2018


I put "how are you getting along", but I don't know if it quite fits. To me, "getting along" has a less negative connotation--more like "how's it going". "Getting by" implies more of a struggle. Could a native French speaker comment on this?

April 10, 2018

  • 1655

There is no problem with the French, but the English is not "getting along", but in the sense of "get by" or "manage" (on your own, by yourself). One might think of it as "working it out". Example: vous devrez vous débrouiller = you have to work it out (or) you have to deal with it (or) you have to manage (it) by yourself (or very loosely) you're on your own there, pal. See comment by Selbosh, above.

June 7, 2018


Thanks, this was helpful

September 28, 2018


In my idiomatic English, "how are you getting along?" seems to be an acceptable variant , but it was not accepted.

April 20, 2018

  • 1655

See my note just above.

June 7, 2018


What is wrong with saying 'how are you coping.' which is what I would say but by adult children would say 'how are you getting by'.

August 15, 2018


How are you doing?

October 19, 2018


I read all the notes written here, and still feel that "How are you getting along?" is appropriate. It could signify that a person is on his own and someone is wondering how he is managing.

January 18, 2019
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.