Level Up Your French: 13 Ways to Say “I Don’t Care” Like a Native

Saying you don't give a damn is a national sport in France. French people love to say they don't care.

You hear a lot of expressions that basically mean the person you're talking too couldn't care less about something - many kinds of things including possibly the things you're talking about.

This post introduces you to 13 unique ways to say "I don't care". They range from neutral and acceptable in most contexts, to informal and colloquial, to downright rude and vulgar.

These will bring you one step closer to sounding like a true native speaker.

Neutral/Acceptable in Most Contexts

1. Ça m'est égal

This is the polite way of saying "I don't care", it translates to "It's all the same to me":

"Tu fais trop de bruit! Les voisins sont furieux!"
"Ça m'est égal!"

You're making too much noise! The neighbors are furious!
I don't care!

"Ou va déjeuner où?"
"Ça m'est complètement égal."

Where are we going to have lunch?
I don't care at all.

Another variant is "ça m'est bien égal."

2. Je n'en ai rien à faire

This is a polite and somewhat formal way of saying "I don't care at all". Few people use it in everyday life except in formal settings like work or academia.

"Que pensez-vous de la politique?"
"Je n'en ai rien à faire de la politique."

What do you think about politics?
I don't care about politics.

3. Je m'en moque

This is another polite and more formal way of saying you don't care. This can be used in formal situations (work etc) and in books. It literally says "I scoff at it".

"Je me moque bien des problèmes de ta femme."

I don't care about your wife's problems.

"Je m'en moque comme de ma première chemise." (slightly more informal)

I care about it as much as my first shirt.

4. Je ne m'en soucie guère

This is a very formal expression, used more readily in books or formal presentations than in everyday life. It translates literally to "I don't worry about it much" or "It doesn't matter much to me."

"Tu as vu cette tâche sur le tapis?"
"Je ne m'en soucie guère!"

Did you see that stain on the carpet?
I don't care much!

A related common expression is "C'est le cadet de mes soucis", which can translate to "it's the least of my worries/concerns".

"Tu es prêt pour l'examen?"
"C'est le cadet de mes soucis."

Are you ready for the exam?
It's the least of my worries

5. Peu importe

"Peu importe" literally translates to "little it matters." It's a common way to say "it doesn't matter much" or "it makes little difference" in a neutral and polite way.

"On va au cinéma ou on reste à la maison ?"
"Peu importe, je suis partant pour les deux!"

Should we go to the movies or should we stay home?
It doesn't matter, I'm up for either!

6. Cela (ça) ne me fait ni chaud ni froid

This literally means "It doesn't make me hot or cold". This is another polite way of saying I don't care, it doesn't matter to me.

"Ils ont annulé le concert de ce weekend."
"Moi, ça ne me fait ni chaud ni froid."

They canceled the concert this weekend.
Me, I really don't care.


7. Je m'en fiche

This is more informal or colloquial than "je m'en moque", "je n'en ai rien à faire", and other phrases listed above. It's not really vulgar though, similar to saying "I don't give a hoot."

You can use "je m'en fiche" in a casual conversation with friends or family when you want to express indifference towards something.

"Ils t'ont mis une contravention!"
"Bof, je m'en fiche!"

They gave you a ticket!
I don't care!

You can add "pas mal" or "complètement" to reinforce the fact that you really don't care:

"Je m'en fiche complétement!" (I really don't give a damn)

8. Je m'en balance

This also means "I don't care" or "It doesn't matter to me." It's a very informal and even slightly vulgar expression, similar to "I don't give a damn" in English.

Use it only in casual conversation with close friends or family who understand the informality. Avoid it in formal situations or with people you don't know well.

"Je m'en balance comme de l'an quarante": a slightly old-fashioned variation. It literally means "I care as much about this as the year 1940".

Another variation sometimes used is "je m'en contrebalance" - a joking way of emphasizing the verb "balance".

9. Je m'en fous

The French expression "je m'en fous" literally translates to "I place myself thereof" but is used figuratively to express indifference or lack of concern.

It's an extremely common way to say "I don't care" or "I don't give a damn" in French. It's more casual than "je m'en fiche", and slightly rude.

"On est en retard!"
"Je m'en fous."

But we're running late!
I don't give a damn.

You can also say "Je m'en fous royalement." (I don't give a royal damn.)

"Je m'en contrefous" is another variant ("contrefous" = "fous"++).


10. Je m'en tape

"Je m'en tape" is a slang expression that literally translates to "I hit myself with it." It's a vulgar way of conveying a strong sense of indifference and not caring.

This expression is considered to be very informal and rude, so it should only be used in casual conversations among friends or acquaintances.

It conveys indifference with a hint of dismissiveness, suggesting that you don't even want to waste energy thinking about it.

"Tu sais que Nathalie part demain?"
"Je m'en tape!"

Did you know Nathalie is leaving tomorrow?
I don't give a damn!

Other variants include:

  • "Je m'en tape royalement"
  • "Je m'en tamponne"
  • "Je m'en cogne"

11. J'en ai rien à foutre

A very informal expression that can be considered slang. It's generally used among friends, family, or in casual conversations.

It carries a stronger sense of indifference, with an underlying tone of anger or frustration. It suggests that you are not only uninterested but also slightly irritated by the news.

"Tu as vu le match hier soir?"
"Non, moi j'en ai rien à foutre du football."

Did you watch the game last night?
No, I don't give a damn about football.

"Rien à foutre" can also be used standalone, without "j'en ai":

"Tu as rendu ton devoir?"
"Non. Rien à foutre!"

Did you hand in your homework?
No. Don't give a damn!

A tamer, less vulgar alternative is "j'en ai rien à cirer":

"Tu as rendu ton devoir?"
"Non, j'en ai rien à cirer!"

12. Je m'en branle

"Je m'en branle" is a very vulgar and offensive expression, as the verb "se branler" refers to the act of masturbation. It's somewhat comparable to saying "I don't give a f***". It's not appropriate to use in polite conversation or formal settings.

It conveys strong indifference mixed with a sense of anger or contempt. It shows that you are completely uninterested and possibly annoyed by the situation.

"Ça ne va pas lui plaire..."
"Je m'en branle!"

S/he's not going to like it...
I don't give a f***"

13. Je m'en bats les couilles

This is a very vulgar way of saying "I don't give a damn" in French. It literally translates to "I beat my balls about it," which obviously isn't a direct translation but conveys a strong sense of not caring.

Due to its vulgarity, it's best avoided in polite company. It's typically used by an angry person, or by guys hanging out together.

"Je m'en balec" is a shortened version of "je m'en bas les couilles" and serves as a tamer alternative. It's mostly used in the street or in very information situations.

Another softer variant is "Je m'en bats l'oeil" - literally "I'm hitting my eye with it."

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