All about the French sentence "J'ai la flemme"

On this page, we are going to show you all the things you ever wanted to know about the funny French sentence “J’ai la flemme”.

This include a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. And because we care about you, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like synonym, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Oh and you can find more of these sentences guides on this page and the ultimate list of all our French words tutorials on this page. Ready to learn? Let’s go!

Table of Contents

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French to English translation

How to pronounce it

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

J'ai la flemme meaning

Definition

It literally means:

  • J’ai → I have
  • La flemme → Laziness

A long time ago, doctors thought people with a lot of “phlegme” (an old name for “mucus“) in their body were not very dynamic. With time, the word changed a bit to become “flemme“.  And so “Avoir la flemme” (To have “la flemme“) means “To feel lazy“.

That’s why “J’ai la flemme” is translated in English as “I feel lazy” or “I can’t be bothered” or “I don’t feel like it“.

How to use

First, use it carefully because it’s familiar and not appropriate to formal situations such as a work environment.

The typical use would be “J’ai pas envie de travailler. J’ai la flemme” (I don’t want to work. I feel lazy). By saying such things, you imply that you prefer doing a passive and less energy-consuming activity instead, for example: take a nap!

If someone asks you to do something and you want to “politely” says that you don’t want to, use instead: “Je n’ai pas envie.” (I don’t want to.)

And finally, if you know someone who is being lazy and wants to tell him/her, you can use: “Mais quel flemmard(e)” (What a lazy person.)

Fun facts

As many French expressions, if you want to strengthen it or make it more passionate you can add “Putain” before or after, eg: “Putain j’ai la flemme !“.

Synonyms

  • Je n’ai pas envie. (“I don’t want to“)
  • J’ai pas envie. (“I don’t want to“)
  • La flemme. (“I feel lazy“)
  • La flemme. (“I feel lazy“)
  • J’avais la flemme. (“I was lazy“)
  • Je suis paresseux. (“I am lazy“)
  • Je suis fainéant. (“I am lazy“)

Audio dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue text

” Tu vas courir aujourd’hui ? “
” Are you going to run today? “
” Non. Je n’ai pas le temps, et toi ? “
” No. I don’t have time, and you? “
” Non, j’ai la flemme “
” No, I feel lazy “
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