Discover the French sentence "C'est dommage"

On this page, we are going to explain you everything you want to know about the basic French phrase “C’est dommage”.

Including a full guide of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. As well as the useful informations we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Finally, you will also find our others phrases tutorials on this page plus all our content about French words on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

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Translation in English

Pronunciation guide

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 it

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 with 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 gâteau préféré” (It’s a pity, I cooked your favorite cake.)

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

Synonyms and similarities

  • 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)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Enregistrement à l'aéroport
Check-in at the airport
Agent:   Bonjour Monsieur. Où allez-vous ?
Hello Sir. Where are you going?
Jacques:   Bonjour. Je vais à Moscou.
Hello. I’m going to Moscow.
Agent:   Puis-je avoir votre passeport, s’il vous plaît ?
Can I have your passport, please?
Jacques:   Bien sûr. Le voici.
Of course. Here it is.
Agent:   Avez-vous un bagage en soute ?
Do you have checked baggage?
Jacques:   Oui, juste celui-ci.
Yes, just this one.
Agent:   Et avez-vous un bagage à main ?
And do you have carry-on baggage?
Jacques:   Non.
Agent:   Très bien. Veuillez placer votre bagage sur la balance.
Very good. Please put your luggage on the scale.
Jacques:   D’accord.
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