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Tant pis

French expressions analyzed and explained


Tant pis
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Expression: Tant pis

Pronunciation: [ta(n) pee]

Meaning: oh well, never mind, too bad, tough

Literal translation: so much worse

Register: anywhere from normal to vulgar

Notes: The French expression tant pis can be either fatalistic (expressing a disappointed resignation) or accusatory (indicating that whatever happened is one's own fault). The meaning of tant pis in the second usage is a bit stronger than "too bad"; in most situations, the best translation is something along the lines of "too damn bad" or "tough." (In rare cases, you could even go so far as "tough sh*t," but that expression is usually far stronger and more vulgar than tant pis.)


   J'ai oublié d'apporter le cadeau mais tant pis.
   I forgot to bring the gift, but oh well / never mind.

   C'est tant pis pour lui.
   That's just too damn bad for him.

Synonyms (for the first usage): Dommage, C'est dommage, Quel dommage, C'est dur

Antonym: tant mieux - good, all the better

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