One of the biggest things when learning another language is replying within context. Parisians have a reputation for being rude. A gallic shrug, a sigh and a “c’est comme ça Madame” and French people are ready to wash their hands of any situation. To respond, you just need to roll your eyes and retort.
Here are a few salient expressions and phrases in French, with just that right touch of Parisian passive-aggressiveness. So, are you ready to give as good as you get? Use with caution!
C’est comme ça – This is how it is
You: “Why can’t I enter the store from this entrance? I don’t want to walk all the way around!” Security guard: “C’est comme ça, Madame.“
Ça m’est égal – Whatever. I don’t mind either way
Interrupting waiter: “Do you want milk with your coffee?” You: “Ça m’est égal.”
Comme tu veux – As you want
You: “Do you want to go grocery shopping this morning or this afternoon?” Kids: “Comme tu veux.” (with subtext “Je m’en fiche.)
Je m’en fiche – I don’t care
You: “You promised you were going to practice the piano!” Your teen watching TV: “Je m’en fiche.”
Peu importe – It doesn’t matter
You at the airport: “What time is boarding?” Flight attendant: “Peu importe. The flight is too full, you have been bumped from the flight.”
Tant pis pour toi – Too bad for you
The visa immigration official at the Police Prefecture: “Sorry, we are exceptionally closed today. It doesn’t matter if you took the day off to be here, tant pis pour toi!”
C’est n’importe quoi! – That’s nonsense!
You: “Why is the bakery closed for the full month of August!? C’est n’importe quoi!
J’en ai marre – I’m fed up
You: “Why is there always such a long line here!? J’en ai marre!“
Laisse-moi tranquille – Leave me alone
You: “Can you please clean up your room?” Your kid: “Laisse-moi tranquille!“
Laisse tomber – Let it go
Spouse: (driving and honking) “He tried to cut me off! You: “Laisse tomber…“
So let out your gallic frustrations, and become French! It is all about the attitude. If you need to more practice, head on over to our Free Printables section where you can download these expressions in flashcard format. And let me know what other French phrases you would like to hear more about by commenting below.
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