All about the French phrase "C'est pas trop tôt"

Ready to discover all the things you ever wanted to know about the basic French sentence “C’est pas trop tôt”?

Are included a full explanation of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. And because we want you to make progress in French, we also added some super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

If you want, you will find our others sentences explained on this page and the ultimate directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Wishing you a good learning!

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French to English translation

Audio pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


It literally means:

  • C’est → It is
  • Pas → Not
  • Trop → Too
  • Tôt → Soon

We use it to express our frustration after waiting for someone for a long time. This is ironic because instead of simply saying “You are late.” (Tu es en retard.) it’s saying “It’s not too soon“.

This construction is making the criticism less aggressive but still clear.

How to use

You had been waiting for your “always-30min-late-friend” and he/she finally arrived. You just want to mention that he/she is late but without starting an argument or creating a bad atmosphere.

In this case, just say: “C’est pas trop tôt.” with a smile and he/she will understand you, will probably apologize and you will move on to something else.

Don’t forget that depending on your tone and facial expression, it can be interpreted as a gentle teasing or as an aggression.

Fun facts

This is a soft way to criticize someone for being late, but if you are super mad: you can increase the “criticism level“. Just add some swear words such as “Bordel“, “Putain“, “Bordel de merde” or “Putain de merde” right after to make it harsher.

For example: “C’est pas trop tôt putain ! 3 heures que je t’attends !” (Fuckin’ hell, finally! I have been waiting you for 3 hours!)

Synonyms and similarities

  • Ce n’est pas trop tôt. (“It’s not too soon.“)
  • Il était temps. (“It was about time.“)
  • J’ai failli attendre ! (“I almost waited!“)
  • Enfin ! (“Finally!“)
  • Ah, quand même ! (“Ah, finally!“)

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.
Un achat important
An important purchase
Léa:   Marc, j’ai une nouvelle excitante pour toi !
Marc, I have some exciting news for you!
Marc:   Qu’est-ce que c’est ?
What is it?
Léa:   Tu ne vas pas me croire…
You won’t believe me…
Marc:   Allez ! Ne me fais pas attendre ! Dis-moi !
Come on! Don’t keep me waiting! Tell me!
Léa:   J’ai enfin eu mon permis de conduire !
I finally got my driver license!
Marc:   Félicitations !
Léa:   Attends, ce n’est pas tout…
Wait, that’s not all…
Marc:   Il y a autre chose ?
Is there anything else?
Léa:   Oui ! J’ai acheté ma première voiture !
Yes! I bought my first car!
Marc:   Wow ! C’est pas trop tôt !
Wow! It was about time!
Léa:   Merci ! Mais c’est vrai que ça a pris du temps…
Thank you! But it’s true that it took some time…
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