The French idiom "C'est pas la mer à boire" explained

You are in the right place to learn all the things you need to know about the funny expression “C’est pas la mer à boire”.

This include a full explanation of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And also the cool stuff we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonym and more!

Oh and in case you are interested, you will also find our others expressions pages on this page and the ultimate list of all our French words pages on this page. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

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Translation in English

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


  • C’est → It is
  • pas → not
  • la mer → the sea
  • à boire → to drink

I don’t know for you, but for me drinking the whole sea sounds, at least, like an extraordinarily laborious task… The expression “C’est pas la mer à boire” helps to put things in perspective.

Whatever you are trying to do, it’s not as difficult as drinking the sea. That’s why we use it when talking about something very simple, easy or obvious, to make the comparison clear.

How to use

Well, when it comes to using this expression: “C’est pas la mer à boire” (It’s not as difficult as drinking the sea).

Simply replace any mention of “It’s super easy” or “It’s really simple/obvious” by “C’est pas la mer à boire” and you are done.


  • C’est pas compliqué. (“It’s not complicated“)
  • C’est très simple. (“It’s super simple“)
  • C’est bête comme chou. (“It’s stupid like cabbage“)
  • C’est enfantin. (“It’s childish“)
  • C’est simple comme tout. (“It’s as simple as everything“)
  • C’est simple comme Baptiste. (“It’s as simple as Baptiste“)(French name)
  • C’est du gâteau. (“It’s cake“)

Audio dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” C’est dur d’apprendre le Français ? “
” Is it hard to learn French? “
” Non. C’est pas la mer à boire “
” No. It’s not the sea to drink* “
” Je commence aujourd’hui alors ! “
” I’m starting right now then! “
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