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Everything about the French quote "C'est la vie"

Get ready to find out all the things you have to know about the inspirational French sentence "C'est la vie". More precisely, it includes a full explanation of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. Together with the useful informations we sprinkled like synonym, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Translation in English

Audio pronunciation



  • IPA : / sɛ la vi /

aesthetic french quote cest la vie

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What does c'est la vie mean?


"C'est la vie" is a fatalistic French phrase that means "That's life" or "That's how it is". It shows acceptance or resignation to a less-than-ideal situation.

It can be used in two ways...

How to use

First, you can use it fatalistically when you can't do anything about an unpleasant situation or bad news:

But French people also use it about something necessary for life or a way of life:

Funny stuff

"C'est la vie" is widely used in other languages, including English.

And surprisingly, it's much more used in English than in French. Probably because we prefer to use "C'est comme ça" (That's how it is).


↓ Example in a story with slow French audio ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Monsieur le professeur

Mr professor

Brigitte était très heureuse de ses cours de photographie.
Brigitte was very happy with her photography lessons.
Elle ne regrettait pas du tout son choix.
She wasn't regretting her choice at all.
Elle aimait apprendre quelque chose de nouveau tous les jours.
She enjoyed learning something new every day.
De plus, elle admirait son professeur : Christian.
In addition, she was admiring her teacher: Christian.
De temps en temps, elle parlait un peu avec lui...
From time to time, she was talking with him a bit...
En général, il lui donnait des conseils très utiles.
In general, he was giving her very useful advice.
Un jour, elle a eu une longue conversation avec lui au sujet de son passé et de son futur.
One day, she had a long conversation with him about his past and his future.


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Tout ira bien


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