How Do You Say “Under Control” In French?

Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the right words when speaking French? Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate learner, expanding your vocabulary is essential to improving your language skills. Today, we’ll be discussing a common phrase that you may need to use in a variety of situations: “under control”. In French, this phrase is translated as “sous contrôle”.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Under Control”?

Learning a new language can be a daunting task, but proper pronunciation is key to effective communication. If you’re wondering how to pronounce the French phrase for “under control,” we’ve got you covered.

Phonetic Breakdown

The French phrase for “under control” is “sous contrôle.” Here’s a phonetic breakdown to help you properly pronounce the phrase:

French Phonetic
sous soo
contrôle kohn-trawl

Put together, the phrase is pronounced “soo kohn-trawl.”

Tips For Pronunciation

Now that you have a better understanding of the phonetics behind the phrase, here are some tips to help you perfect your pronunciation:

  • Practice saying each syllable slowly and deliberately before putting them together.
  • Pay attention to the emphasis on each syllable – in this case, the emphasis is on the second syllable of “contrôle.”
  • Listen to native French speakers pronounce the phrase to get a better sense of the correct intonation and rhythm.

Remember, practice makes perfect! With a little bit of effort and dedication, you’ll be able to confidently say “sous contrôle” in no time.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Under Control”

Proper grammar is essential when using the French word for “under control” to ensure effective communication. In this section, we will discuss the correct placement of the word in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement Of The French Word For Under Control In Sentences

The French word for “under control” is “sous contrôle.” It is usually placed after the verb in a sentence, as in “Je garde la situation sous contrôle” (I keep the situation under control).

In some cases, “sous contrôle” can be placed at the beginning of a sentence for emphasis, as in “Sous contrôle, tout est possible” (Under control, anything is possible).

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb used in conjunction with “sous contrôle” will dictate the appropriate conjugation or tense. For example:

  • Present tense: “Je tiens la situation sous contrôle” (I am keeping the situation under control)
  • Passé composé: “Nous avons mis la situation sous contrôle” (We have brought the situation under control)
  • Imparfait: “Le pompier maintenait le feu sous contrôle” (The firefighter was keeping the fire under control)

Agreement With Gender And Number

Like many French adjectives, “sous contrôle” agrees in gender and number with the noun it modifies. For example:

  • Singular masculine: “Le suspect est sous contrôle” (The suspect is under control)
  • Singular feminine: “La situation est sous contrôle” (The situation is under control)
  • Plural masculine: “Les incendies sont sous contrôle” (The fires are under control)
  • Plural feminine: “Les tempêtes étaient sous contrôle” (The storms were under control)

Common Exceptions

One common exception to the placement of “sous contrôle” is in the phrase “hors de contrôle,” meaning “out of control.” In this case, “hors” is placed before “contrôle,” as in “La voiture était hors de contrôle” (The car was out of control).

Another exception is when using “sous contrôle” as a noun, as in “Mettre quelque chose sous contrôle” (To bring something under control). In this case, “sous contrôle” is not modified for gender or number.

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Under Control”

When learning a new language, it’s important to understand common phrases and expressions. In French, the phrase “under control” can be translated to “sous contrôle.” Here are some examples of how this phrase can be used in everyday conversation:


  • “Je vais prendre la situation sous contrôle.” – “I will take the situation under control.”
  • “Il faut garder ses émotions sous contrôle.” – “You need to keep your emotions under control.”
  • “Le feu est sous contrôle.” – “The fire is under control.”

As you can see, “sous contrôle” can be used in a variety of situations. It can refer to taking control of a situation, managing emotions, or even putting out a fire. Here’s some example dialogue:


French English Translation
“Est-ce que tout est sous contrôle?” “Is everything under control?”
“Oui, ne t’inquiète pas. Tout est sous contrôle.” “Yes, don’t worry. Everything is under control.”
“Je ne sais pas comment gérer cette situation.” “I don’t know how to handle this situation.”
“Il faut prendre les choses sous contrôle et trouver une solution.” “You need to take control of things and find a solution.”

By understanding common phrases and expressions, you can improve your French language skills and communicate more effectively. “Sous contrôle” is a useful phrase to know and can be used in a variety of situations.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Under Control”

Understanding the different contexts in which the French word for “under control” can be used is crucial for effective communication in the language. Here, we will explore the varying uses of the word in formal and informal contexts, as well as its use in slang, idiomatic expressions, and popular culture.

Formal Usage

In formal contexts, the French word for “under control” is typically used in professional settings, such as business meetings or legal proceedings. It is important to use the appropriate level of formality when using this phrase, as it can have different connotations depending on the context.

For example, in a business meeting, using the phrase “sous contrôle” can indicate that a situation is being managed effectively and efficiently. Alternatively, in a legal context, the phrase can indicate that a defendant is being monitored or supervised.

Informal Usage

Informal usage of the French word for “under control” is more commonly used in casual conversations with friends and family. In this context, the phrase can be used to indicate that a situation is manageable or not a cause for concern.

For instance, if a friend is worried about a test they have coming up, you could reassure them by saying “ne t’inquiète pas, tout est sous contrôle” which means “don’t worry, everything is under control.”

Other Contexts

Besides formal and informal contexts, the French word for “under control” can also be used in a variety of other contexts, such as slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural or historical uses.

For instance, the phrase “sous contrôle” can be used in French slang to indicate that someone is cool, calm, and collected. In this context, the phrase takes on a more figurative meaning, indicating that a person has their emotions or behavior “under control.”

Additionally, the French language is full of idiomatic expressions that use the phrase “sous contrôle.” One such expression is “tenir quelque chose sous contrôle” which means “to keep something under control.” This expression can be used in a variety of contexts, such as managing a project or controlling a situation.

Popular Cultural Usage

Finally, the French word for “under control” has also been popularized in French popular culture, particularly in the music industry. One example of this is the song “Sous Contrôle” by French rapper Nekfeu, which discusses the idea of staying in control of one’s life and emotions.

Overall, understanding the varying contexts in which the French word for “under control” can be used is essential for effective communication in the language. Whether in formal or informal settings, slang or idiomatic expressions, or popular culture, this phrase can be used to convey a wide range of meanings and emotions.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Under Control”

As with any language, French varies depending on the region in which it is spoken. This is true for the French word for “under control,” which has several regional variations.

Usage In Different French-speaking Countries

In France, the most common way to say “under control” is “sous contrôle.” However, in Quebec, Canada, the term “sous contrôle” is not commonly used. Instead, Quebec French speakers often use the phrase “sous contrôle de” followed by the name of the person or entity controlling the situation. For example, “sous contrôle de la police” would mean “under police control.”

Similarly, in Switzerland, the word for “under control” is often “sous contrôle,” but it may also be expressed as “sous surveillance.” In Belgium, “sous contrôle” is also used, but the phrase “sous main” is also common.

Regional Pronunciations

Even within French-speaking countries, there may be regional differences in pronunciation. For example, in France, the “s” in “sous” is often pronounced as a “z” sound in some regions, while in others, it is pronounced as an “s” sound. Similarly, in Quebec French, the “r” sound is often pronounced differently than in France French.

Here is a table outlining some of the regional variations in the pronunciation of the French word for “under control”:

Region Pronunciation
France (Paris) sous contrôle
France (South) zous contrôle
Quebec sous contrôôôôle
Switzerland sous contrôle or sous surveillance
Belgium sous contrôle or sous main

Other Uses Of The French Word For “Under Control” In Speaking & Writing

While the French word for “under control,” which is “sous contrôle,” typically means that a situation is being managed or regulated, it can also have different meanings depending on context. Understanding these different uses can help you communicate more effectively in French.

Distinguishing Between Uses

There are several ways in which the French word for “under control” can be used:

  • Literal meaning: When used literally, “sous contrôle” means that a situation is being managed or regulated. For example, “La situation est sous contrôle” can be translated as “The situation is under control.”
  • Figurative meaning: In some contexts, “sous contrôle” can also be used in a more figurative sense to mean that something is being monitored or kept in check. For example, “Je garde mes émotions sous contrôle” means “I keep my emotions under control.”
  • Idiomatic expressions: Finally, “sous contrôle” is also used in a number of idiomatic expressions that have specific meanings. For example, “mettre sous contrôle” means “to bring under control,” while “hors de contrôle” means “out of control.”

When using “sous contrôle” in French, it’s important to consider the context in which it is being used. This will help you ensure that you are using the word correctly and communicating effectively.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The French Word For “Under Control”

Synonyms And Related Terms

When it comes to expressing the idea of “under control” in French, there are several words and phrases that can be used, depending on the context. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Sous contrôle: This phrase is the most direct translation of “under control” in French. It literally means “under control” and can be used in a variety of situations, such as when discussing a project that is going well or a situation that has been resolved.
  • Maîtrisé: This word is similar to “sous contrôle” and means “controlled” or “mastered.” It can be used in the same types of situations as “sous contrôle,” but may have a slightly different connotation.
  • Réglé: This word means “settled” or “sorted out” and can be used when discussing a problem that has been resolved or a situation that has been taken care of.

While these words and phrases are similar to the French word for “under control,” they may be used in slightly different ways depending on the context.


Of course, there are also words and phrases in French that are the opposite of “under control.” Here are a few antonyms that you may come across:

  • Hors de contrôle: This phrase means “out of control” and is used when a situation has gotten out of hand or is no longer manageable.
  • Chaos: This word means “chaos” or “disorder” and is used when a situation is completely out of control.
  • Incontrôlable: This word means “uncontrollable” and is used to describe a situation or problem that is difficult or impossible to manage.

While these words and phrases are the opposite of “under control,” they may be used in similar situations as their synonyms, depending on the context.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Under Control”

When learning a new language, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially when it comes to idiomatic expressions. The French language has a rich vocabulary, and one such expression that often trips up non-native speakers is “under control.” In this section, we will discuss some common mistakes made when using the French word for “under control” and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

Here are some common mistakes that non-native speakers make when using the French word for “under control”:

  1. Using “sous contrôle” instead of “sous contrôle de”
  2. Using “contrôle” instead of “maîtrise”
  3. Using “sous contrôle” in the wrong context

Using “sous contrôle” instead of “sous contrôle de”

One common mistake is using “sous contrôle” without the preposition “de.” The correct way to say “under control” in French is “sous contrôle de.” For example, “La situation est sous contrôle de la police” means “The situation is under control of the police.”

Using “contrôle” instead of “maîtrise”

Another mistake is using “contrôle” instead of “maîtrise.” While “contrôle” can mean “control” in English, it does not convey the same meaning as “under control.” The appropriate word to use in this context is “maîtrise.” For example, “La situation est sous maîtrise de la police” means “The situation is under control of the police.”

Using “sous contrôle” in the wrong context

Finally, it’s essential to use “sous contrôle” in the appropriate context. It’s not suitable for all situations, and using it incorrectly can lead to confusion. For example, “Le feu est sous contrôle” means “The fire is under control,” but “Je suis sous contrôle” means “I am under control,” which is not the same thing.

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid these common mistakes, it’s essential to practice using the correct expression in context. Here are some tips to help you avoid making mistakes:

  • Study the proper use of “sous contrôle de” and “maîtrise.”
  • Pay attention to context and use the appropriate expression.
  • Practice using the expressions in different contexts to become familiar with their usage.

There is no conclusion for this section.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say “under control” in French. We began by discussing the most common phrase, “sous contrôle,” which is used in a wide range of contexts, from business to personal relationships. We then examined some alternative expressions, such as “maîtrisé” and “dompté,” which convey a sense of mastery or control over a situation or person.

Next, we delved into the nuances of these phrases, exploring how they differ in terms of formality, tone, and context. We also highlighted some common mistakes to avoid when using these expressions, such as confusing “sous contrôle” with “en contrôle.”

Finally, we provided some tips on how to practice using these phrases in real-life conversations, including listening to French podcasts, watching French films, and practicing with a language partner.

Encouragement To Practice And Use The French Word For Under Control In Real-life Conversations

We hope that this blog post has helped you to better understand the French language and how to express the concept of “under control” in a variety of contexts. Remember, the key to mastering any language is practice, so we encourage you to start using these phrases in your daily conversations, whether with friends, colleagues, or strangers.

By doing so, you will not only improve your language skills but also deepen your understanding of French culture and society. So go ahead, take the plunge, and start incorporating these phrases into your everyday speech. Who knows, you might even impress your French-speaking friends with your newfound mastery of the language!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.