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Tant Pis Meaning & Translation – Too bad, oh well in French

Tant Pis Meaning & Translation – Too bad, oh well in French

In today’s lesson we’ll look at a commonly used and super useful French interjection: Tant pis! Translations are numerous including “too bad!”, “oh well!”, “never mind!” and “what a shame!”.

Tant pis!

Too bad! / Oh well!

Tant pis = French for too bad, oh well, never mind

Tant pis meaning and translation

Word origin

In the expression tant pis, tant translates to “so much” and pis translates to “worse”. According to, the modern French pis is related to pire, another French word for “worse”, which comes from pejus in Latin.

Example sentences

Il n’y a plus de biscuits. Tant pis, je mangerai une pomme !

There are no more cookies. Oh well! I’ll eat an apple.

As mentioned, tant pis has lots of translations. In our first three example sentences we used the translation “oh well!”. That said, we could have just as easily used the translations “what a shame” and “too bad”.

In this first example, mangerai is the verb manger (to eat) conjugated in the French future tense. This post on our site covers the French future tense in detail.

This sentence also uses the interesting negation ne…plus, which means “anymore”. This page on our site covers French negation rules in detail.

J’ai encore fait la même bêtise. Tant pis !

I made the same mistake again. Oh well!

This sentence uses the word bêtise which translates to “silly mistake”. The adjective bête means silly or stupid.

Nous avons encore raté le bus. Tant pis !

We missed the again. Oh well!

The previous two example sentences were in the passé composé, a commonly used French past tense. This post on our site explains the passé comosé.

These final two examples use the expression tant pis pour toi/vous, which translates literally to “so much worse for you”. The underlying meaning of this expression is almost “that’s your problem” or “tough”.

Vous ne venez pas demain ? Tant pis pour vous ! C’est pas mon problème !

You’re not coming tomorrow? That’s too bad for you! It’s not my problem!

Si tu ne bosses pas avant l’examen tant pis pour toi ! Tu risques de redoubler l’an prochain !

If you don’t study before your exam, that’s too bad! You risk staying back next year.

This example sentence uses the verb bosser, which means “to work” or “to work hard”. One usage of bosser is “to study”. This lesson on our site covers bosser.

The sentence also use the word an which means year in French. There are two ways to say year: an and année, which we cover in this lesson.


Félicitations! You now know how to use tant pis in French! Now check out our lesson covering the slang adjective chiant which means “annoying”.

Tant pis ! = Oh well!
Tant pis ! = Oh well!

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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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