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

You are in the right place to discover everything you want to know about the funny expression "Il n'y a pas le feu". Including a full explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. But wait, we also added useful things like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonyms and more!

French to English

  • Translation : There is no hurry

  • Literal meaning : There's no fire

  • Register : Informal - Funny




  • IPA : / il nj‿ a pa lə fø /

aesthetic french quote pas le feu

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What does it mean?


It literally means:


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...


Example in a dialogue


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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Ça coûte la peau du cul


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