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!


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  • 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)

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

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