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Tricky French Expression
|Meaning||it’s not that great|
|Literally||it’s not terrible, it’s not terrific|
|Pronunciation||[seu nay pah tay reebl]|
|IPA||[sə nɛ pa te ʀiblə]|
Usage notes: Even after speaking French for a long time, the word terrible can be confusing, because it’s a contronym: a word that is its own antonym. It can mean "terrible," as in English, but it can also mean "terrific," making it perhaps the trickiest faux ami there is.
|C’est terrible !||It’s awful!|
|C’est terrible !||It’s great!|
But when it’s used in the negative, terrible is generally positive (ha ha), meaning "terrific" or "great."
|J’ai vu la voiture, ce n’est pas terrible.||I saw the car, it’s not that great.|
|(en sirotant) Pas terrible.||(while sipping) Not that great.|
|– Tu as essayé ce resto ?|
– Oui, c’est pas terrible. (informal)
|– You tried this restaurant?|
– Yes, it’s not that great.
Informally, the ne is dropped and this expression is pronounced c’est pas terrible – learn more.
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