French Language French Vocabulary: «Express Surprise»

From Polyglot Club WIKI

< Language‎ | French‎ | Vocabulary
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Bonjour à toutes et à tous,

In this lesson, you will learn how French like to express their feelings of suprise.

When something unusual happens, French have their own casual and fun expressions.

Good learning!

Popular Expressions[edit | edit source]

Oh la la ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Oh my God!, Oh dear!, wow!

It is an interjection meaning surprise, admiration.

Examples of use:

  • Oh la la ! il est déjà 20h30, je vais rater mon train !
Oh dear ! It's already 8:30 pm, I'll miss my train!
  • Oh la la ! mais qu'est-ce qui t'es arrivé ?
Oh dear ! But what happened to you?
  • Oh la la ! qu'est-ce qu'il fait chaud ici !
Oh dear ! It's so hot here!

Ça, alors ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: My goodness!, good grief!

This exclamation can express a whole range of reactions, from delight to surprise to indignation. 

  • Examples:
Ça alors ! Je n'aurais jamais imaginé cela !
My goodness! I'd never have imagined that.

Whaou ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Wow!
  • Example: Whaou ! Tu as vu ce qu'il est capable de faire ?
Wow, have you seen what he can do?

C'est pas possible ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: I can't believe this!

The correct spelling would be: "CE N'est pas possible" but French often omit the "N'/NE" in the spoken language for negative sentences.

Je n'y crois pas ! / J'y crois pas[edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: I can't believe it!

Note : "J'y crois pas" is more familiar than "Je n'y crois pas".

  • Example: Je n'y crois pas, elle a osé!
I can't believe this, she dared to do that!

C'est magnifique ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Magnificent!
  • Example: Je rentre de l'exposition: C'est vraiment magnifique !
I come back from the exhibition: It's really beautiful!

Génial ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Great!

This adjective which means super, great, something which is brilliant & fantastic according to you.

Impressionnant ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Awesome!
  • Example: Wahou ! C'est impressionnant, très beau travail !

Incroyable ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Amazing!
  • Example: Incroyable, il l'a fait !
Amazing, he did it!

Mon Dieu ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Oh my God!

It's similar to the English locution "OH MY GOD" or "oh my gosh".

  • Example: Mon dieu, ce n'est pas possible !
Oh my God, it's not possible!

Quel malheur ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: What a disgrace!
  • Example: Tu as vu l'article dans le journal? Quel malheur !
Did you see the article in the newspaper? What a disgrace!

Comme c’est beau ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: How beautiful! / it's beautiful
  • Example: Tu as vu ce qu'ils ont fait? Comme c'est beau !
Did you see what they did? It's beautiful!

Quel travail ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: What work!
  • Example: Quel travail ! Il a nettoyé toute la maison
What work! He has cleaned the whole house

Quelle chance ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: What a Luck!
  • Example: Quelle chance ! tu as décroché le poste
How lucky you are! You got the job

Quoi ?[edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: What?
  • Example: Quoi ? Il a fait ça?
What? He did that?

C'est pas vrai ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: No way!

N'importe quoi ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: "Nonsense!" (US) or "Rubbish!" (UK)
  • Example: Il a osé faire ça ? N'importe quoi !
He dared to do that? Nonsense!

Je n’en crois pas mes yeux ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: I can’t believe my eyes!

Trop bien ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Awesome!

Oh la vache ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: holy cow, Wow, Good heavens!

Use "oh la vache!", or simply "la vache!", to express surprise or admiration.

Mince alors ! / zut alors ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: Ah, heck!

Surprise with a certain degree of disappointment.

Slang Expressions[edit | edit source]

Putain ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: f**k!

Among young French people, "putain" is so common, it may even be used as often as the word "oui". Its nearest equivalent in English is probably “f**k!”.

It can be used to express anger, but can also be used to describe something amazing :

  • Example: Wahou ! c'est un putain d’artiste!
it's a f****ing artist

Merde ![edit | edit source]

  • Meaning: s**t!

It has the same meaning as "Putain !".

A combination of the two words and often used as in "Putain, merde !".

  • Example: Putain, merde ! C'est pas possible
f**k! I can't believe this!


Vincent,, Emileee and

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