Pas mal

Pas mal
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Essential French Expression

Meaning not bad, nice job; quite a bit
Literally not bad
Register normal
Pronunciation [pah mahl]
IPA   [pa mal]

Usage notes: The French expression pas mal means "not bad" in response to "how are you?"

Par exemple…

– Salut Angélique ! Ça va ?
– Pas mal.
  – Hi Angélique! How’s it going?
– Not bad.
– Bonjour Michel. Comment vas-tu ?
– Pas mal, et toi?
  – Hello Michel, how are you?
– Not bad, you? 

Pas mal can also be an understatement, to mean "good job!" or "way to go!"

Par exemple…

– J’ai eu 19/20 en espagnol au bac.
– Pas mal !
  – I got 19/20 in Spanish on the baccalauréat.
– Nice job! 
Tu as déjà fini ? Pas mal !   You’re done already? Way to go!

Pas mal (with verbs) and pas mal de (with nouns) are adverbs of quantity meaning "quite a bit" or "a fair amount."

Par exemple…

Elle travaille pas mal le week-end.   She works quite a bit on the weekend.
On peut épargner pas mal avec un peu d’effort.   You can save a fair amount of money with a little effort.
Je fais pas mal de cuisine.   I cook quite a bit, I do a fair amount of cooking.
Nous avons acheté pas mal de livres.   We bought quite a few books.

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Pas mal
Stay up to date with Lawless French!
Twitter Facebook Quora Instagram Pinterest YouTube RSS Newsletter
Quora

Any Questions?

 Get help on the forum.
  
 

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.
       

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.

2 Responses

  1. Robert 14 June 2014 / 11:14

    Je peux apprendre pas mal de choses ici. Merci!

  2. Hugh South 10 June 2014 / 12:06

    One of the best compliments I received in France was being told that my French was “pas mal”.