Street French (real-life phrases): c’est n’importe quoi, j’en ai marre, pas de souci, laisse tomber

Here are five common French colloquial expressions that you'll often encounter in everyday conversations, with examples and audio.

C'est n'importe quoi

This phrase means "That's nonsense" or "That's ridiculous." It's used when something seems absurd or nonsensical.

"Il dit qu'il peut apprendre le français en une semaine...
C'est n'importe quoi!

He says he can learn Spanish in a week.
That's ridiculous!

A variant you might hear is "c'est du n'importe quoi!" or "c'est du grand n'importe quoi": "it's total nonsense" or "it's complete nonsense".

It's often used for saying that something is absurd in the context of an organization or group of people.

"Ils ont essayé de me facturer deux fois pour la même chose, c'est du n'importe quoi!"

They tried to charge me twice for the same thing, it's total nonsense!

J'en ai marre

This means "I'm fed up", "I've had enough". It shows frustration or annoyance with a situation. "J'en ai marre de" also translates to "I'm sick of".

"J'en ai marre de ce bruit, je ne peux plus me concentrer."

I'm fed up with this noise, I can't concentrate anymore.

"J'en ai vraiment marre de ses conneries!"

I'm really sick of his/her crap!

A similar expression that's very commonly used is "J'en ai ras-le-bol"

On se fait la bise?

This phrase means "Shall we kiss?" It refers to the common French greeting of cheek kissing. It's typically used when greeting friends or family.

"Salut, ça fait longtemps! On se fait la bise?"

Hi, it's been a long time! Shall we kiss?

The person will usually say this while putting his/her hands on the other person's shoulders or arms, getting ready to execute the cheek kiss.

You usually use it when you're pretty familiar with the person.

Pas de souci

This translates to "No worries" or "No problem." It's used to reassure someone that everything is fine or to say that something is not a problem.

"On peut reporter notre rendez-vous à demain ?
Oui bien sûr, pas de souci."

Can we move our appointment to tomorrow?
No worries.

Laisse tomber

This means "Forget it" or "Never mind." It's used to suggest dropping a subject or not continuing with a planned action.

"Il ne répond pas à mes messages.
Bah laisse tomber, on fera sans lui."

He's not responding to my messages.
Forget it, we'll do it without him.

It's also used to end an argument:

"Mais pourquoi tu ne dis rien?
Laisse tomber, tu peux pas comprendre..."

But why aren't you saying anything?
Forget it, you wouldn't understand.

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