French Lessons: C

English - French Dictionary

ça ne fait rien
that doesn’t matter

ça va (?)  
how’s it going?, I’m fine

ça vaut le coup  
it’s worth it

a coffee shop (also used in French for “coffee”).

café au lait
coffee with milk; or a light-brown color. In medicine, it is also used to describe a birthmark that is of a light-brown color (café au lait spot).

it is

that is, i.e., I mean

c’est parti  
here we go, and we’re off

c’est pas vrai !  
no way!

ce n’est pas terrible  

it’s not that great

un coup d’œil  
glance, quick look

c’est bon
That’s good

c’est la mode
that’s the fashion

c’est la vie!
“That’s life!”; or “Such is life!” or “It is what it is!” It is sometimes used as an expression to say that life is harsh but that one must accept it.

c’est magnifique!
That’s great!; literally it’s magnificent.

c’est tout
that is everything, “That’s all.” See also un point c’est tout.

chacun ses goûts / à chacun ses goûts / à chacun son goût (all are used)
“to each his (their) own taste(s)” or “each to his own taste”


a hat. In French, chapeau is also an expression of congratulations similar to the English “hats off to….”


chef d’œuvre
a masterpiece

at the house of: often used in the names of restaurants and the like; Chez Marie = “Marie’s”


a hairstyle worn in a roll at the nape of the neck

cinéma pur
an avant-garde film movement which was born in Paris in the 1920s and 30s.

cinéma vérité
realism in documentary filmmaking

comme il faut
“as it must be”: in accord with conventions or accepted standards; proper.

lit. communicated; an official communication


a departure; in French refers to time off work


a short story, a tale; in French a conte has usually a fantasy context (such as in a fairytale) and always begins with the words “Il était une fois” (“Once upon a time”).


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