Discover the French sentence "Quel dommage"

On this page, we are going to explain you everything you have to know about the basic French phrase “Quel dommage”.

This include a full definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. And also the useful informations we sprinkled like slow pronunciation audio, synonym, dialogue example and more!

Oh and before I forget, on this page you can find more of these phrases guides plus the ultimate list of all our French words guides on this page. Wish you a good learning!

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French to English translation

How to pronounce it

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does quel dommage mean?


The literal meaning is:

  • Quel → What a
  • Dommage → Pity

French people use it to express a feeling of regret or disappointment, just like: “Too bad” or “What a pity” in English.

How to use it

Use it when you want to express your disappointment or when you have regrets about something. You can use it just like this or add more precisions about what you are disappointed about.

For example, your best friend didn’t come to your party. When talking about that the day after he/she says: “Désolé(e) je n’ai pas pu venir” (Sorry, I couldn’t come). You might answer: “Quel dommage” (What a pity) because you really wanted her/him to be there.

Now if you want to be more precise, you can use: “Quel dommage que tu ne sois pas venu(e)” (What a pity that you didn’t come). Or even “Quel dommage, j’avais préparé ton gâteau préféré” (What a pity, I had prepared your favorite cake.)

Finally, you can also use “Dommage” alone to express “Too bad” but it’s a bit more informal.


  • C’est dommage. (“It’s a pity“)
  • C’est fâcheux. (“It is a shame“)
  • C’est regrettable (“It’s regrettable“)
  • Dommage (“Too bad / Pity“)(Informal)

Example in a story with English translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this phrase in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Changement de plan !
Change of plan!
Philippe et Emily étaient ensemble quand Philippe reçut un message de son ami.
Philippe and Emily were together when Philippe received a message from his friend.
Il regarda rapidement…
He looked quickly…
Philippe:   Oh non !
Oh no!
Philippe semblait énervé…
Philippe seemed upset…
Emily:   Quoi ? Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas ?
What? What’s wrong?
Philippe:   Tu te souviens que nous avions un concert le vingt juin ?
Do you remember that we had a concert on June 20?
Emily:   Oui, bien sûr, pourquoi ?
Yes, of course, why?
Philippe:   Il est annulé…
It is canceled…
Emily:   Oh non ! Quel dommage…
Oh no! What a pity…
Ils étaient tous les deux très déçus par cette mauvaise nouvelle…
They were both very disappointed with this bad news…
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