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ce n’est pas la mer à boire

The informal French expression “ce n’est pas la mer à boire” translates literally to “it’s not the sea to drink”.

English meanings:

  • it’s no big deal
  • it’s not asking that much

French meanings:

  • ce n’est pas grave – it’s no big deal
  • ce n’est pas si difficile – Lit: it’s not so difficult

Example sentence:

  • Écoute, tu t’inquiètes pour rien. Ce n’est pas la mer à boire! Listen, you’re worrying for nothing. It’s no big deal!


  • il n’y pas de quoi fouetter un chatthere’s nothing to get worked up about
  • c’est pas la mort du petit cheval – Lit: It’s not the death of the little horse
  • Ça ne fait rien – Lit: That makes nothing, it’s no big deal
  • Ce n’est pas un drame – Lit: It’s not a tragedy
  • Ce n’est pas si pire – Lit: It’s not so worse (Québecois expression)

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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