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À la limite

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Expression: À la limite

Pronunciation: [a la lee meet]

Meaning: to the limits, if pushed, at most, ultimately, in a pinch, barely...

Literal translation: to/at the limit

Register: normal

Notes: The French expression à la limite is extremely versatile - it's hard to pin down exactly what it means.

   Il m'a poussé à la limite de ma patience.
   He pushed me to the limits of my patience.

   Nous achèterons deux valises, trois à la limite.


   We'll buy two suitcases, three at the most.

   À la limite, on croirait qu'il le fait exprès.
   You'd almost think he's doing it on purpose.

   Ce repas est à la limite du comestible.
   This meal is barely edible.

   J'irais chez ma mère à la limite.
   In a pinch, I'd go to my mom's house.

You can use the French expression à la limite when you're not quite sure of how much of something you need, or when talking about possibilities. In this sense, it's synonymous with à la rigueur.

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