All about the French idiom "Il n'y a pas le feu"

Ready to discover everything you have to know about the funny French idiom “Il n’y a pas le feu”?

To be clear, it includes a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And also the useful informations we added like dialogue example, synonym, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Finally, you can find more idioms explained like this one on this page plus the ultimate list of all our French words pages on this page. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

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French to English


Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


It literally means:

  • Il n’y a pas → There is no
  • le feu→ fire


In the middle of the 20th century, French people started to use this expression to express “There is no hurry /emergency“. Because if there is no fire, there is no reason to panic.

How to use

Instead of saying the basic: “Ça ne presse pas”  (There is no hurry) you can use this expression to make it funnier.

It also good to know that in everyday French, we almost always end up saying “Ya pas l’feu” which is shorter and more informal.

Fun fact

We can also use this expression this way: “Il n’y a pas le feu au lac” (There is no fire on the lake).

The addition of “on the lake” is a way of making fun of the slowness of the Swiss, supposedly unable to hurry even in an emergency according to the cliché. And the lake refers to the “Lac Léman” (Lake Geneva), the symbol of Switzerland.

And because it’s impossible to have a fire on a lake, it makes it even more ironic…


  • Ya pas l’feu → There is no fire on the lake (Informal pronunciation)
  • Il n’y a pas le feu au lac → There is no fire on the lake
  • Ya pas l’feu au lac → There is no fire on the lake (Informal pronunciation)
  • Il n’y a pas de quoi paniquer → There is no reason to panic
  • Il n’y a pas de quoi fouetter un chat → That’s not a reason to whip a cat
  • Rien ne presse → There is no hurry
  • Ça ne presse pas → There is no hurry

Audio dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Désolé, je suis en retard
” Sorry, I’m late “
Dépêche-toi ! Tout le monde t’attend ! “
” Hurry up! Everybody is waiting for you! “
C’est bon ! Il n’y a pas le feu ! “
” Relax, there is no fire!* “
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