The French phrase "C'est dommage" explained

Get prepared to discover everything you have to know about the basic sentence “C’est dommage”.

Including a complete explanation of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. And because learning a new language is important, we also added super useful stuff like slow pronunciation audio, synonym, dialogue example and more!

If you are interested, you can also find our others sentences explained on this page and all our French words guides on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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French to English

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does c'est dommage mean?


The literal meaning is:

  • C’est → It is
  • Dommage → Pity

French people use it to express a feeling of regret or disappointment, just like: “Too bad” or “It’s a pity” in English.

How to use

Use it when you want to express your disappointment or when you have regrets about something. You can use it just like this or add more precisions about what you are disappointed of right after.

For example, your best friend didn’t come to your party. When talking about that the day after he/she says: “Désolé(e) je n’ai pas pu venir” (Sorry, I couldn’t come). You might answer: “C’est dommage” (Too bad) because you really wanted her/him to be there.

Now if you want to be more precise, you can use: “C’est dommage que tu ne sois pas venu(e)” (It’s a pity that you didn’t come). Or even “C’est dommage, j’avais préparé ton gateau préféré” (It’s a pity, I prepared your favorite cake.)

Finally, you can also use “Dommage” alone to express “Too bad” but it’s a bit more informal.


  • Quel dommage. (“What a pity / What a shame“)
  • C’est fâcheux. (“It is a shame“)
  • C’est regrettable (“It’s regrettable“)
  • Dommage (“Too bad / Pity“)(Informal)

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” J’ai raté mon examen “
” I failed my exam “
” Mince… c’est dommage “
” Gosh…too bad “
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