Skip to Content

Nul, Nulle: Lousy in French

Nul, Nulle: Lousy in French

If you spend any amount of time in France, you’ll likely hear the adjective nul (nulle in the feminine form). You’ll also most certainly hear c’est nul ! (that sucks!). In short, nul is an informal or slang adjective that translates to “lousy”, “sucks” or “crappy” in English. This post will explore nul in detail. Keep reading.

nul, nulle

lousy, sucks, crappy

Nul/nulle: lousy, sucks and crappy in French.

As stated, the most common usage of nul is in the expression c’est nul, which translates roughly to “it sucks!” or “that sucks!”. Other translations include “crappy” and “rubbish”. This could be said to describe any sort of thing or situation which on finds to be of mediocre or lousy quality.

Oh là là, c’est nul !

Whow…it/that sucks!

The expression être nul/nulle en + subject means “to be bad at” or “lousy at” any given subject or study area. Other translations include “hopeless at” and “useless at”. Here’s an example:

Je suis nul en maths mais très fort en langage.

I’m lousy at math but very good at languages.

Another usage of nul/nulle is to be “no good at” or “suck”. Here’s an example:

C’est n’est pas que je suis nul (or nulle). C’est que je ne m’applique pas.

It’s not that I suck. It’s that I don’t apply myself.

The adjective nul can also be applied to a person to mean “no good”.

Je n’aime pas le prof de physique. Il est vraiment nul !

I don’t like the physics teacher. He’s really no good (sucks or lousy).

Nul is commony used to mean “lousy” or “sucks” to give a very negative review or critique.

Tu as vu le dernier film de Depardieu ? – Oui, c’était nul !

Did you see teh last Depardieu movie? – Yes, it sucked!

In the previous example sentence était is the third-person singular (il/elle) form of être (to be) in the imperfect tense.


Et voilà ! Now you know how to use the adjective nul in French. Now check our our posts covering how to use the word d’accord (okay, agreed) and the fun expression être bête comme ses pieds (to be very stupid).

Example of how to use "nul" in French.

Sharing is caring!

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 FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by